1916 Jasper County Biographies


SAMUEL ARCHER This citizen of Medaryville, Pulaski county, is one of the planners of Cass township, and a veteran of our great civil war. He was born December 4, 1835, in Champaign County, Ohio, a son of Benjamin and Susannah (Swisher) Archer.

The Archers are of sterling Scotch descent. Benjamin was a son of David Archer, who was a pioneer of Logan County, Ohio, and who it is believed, came to that state from Pennsylvania. Benjamin's children were William, John, James, Benjamin, David, Joseph, Thomas and Polly. Benjamin Archer was born in 1811, in Logan County, Ohio, and was married in Champaign County, that state, to Susannah Swisher, a native of that county, and daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Nogle) Swisher. Nicholas Swisher was of the Pennsylvania-Dutch stock, and was a pioneer of Champaign County, where he had a good farm. His children were named: George N., John, Betsy, Joseph, Susannah, Nicholas, Nathan and Samuel. Nicholas Swisher moved to Indiana, in 1850, locating in Jasper County, on an improved farm of eighty acres. He finally died on this place, aged about seventy years. After his marriage, Benjamin Archer continued to reside in Champaign County for a time. In the spring of 1845, he emigrated to this state, settling in Cass Township, Pulaski County, on land which he had pre-empted, two miles northeast of where Medaryville now is, and lived there until 1846, when he lost to a dishonest neighbor, who skipped in ahead of him and paid the fees, and thus secured the property from the government. He next Settled a mile west of Rensselaer, living there from fall till spring, when, the entire family being sick with malarial complaints, he was obliged to move again. Returning to Cass Township, he located a mile and a half north of where Samuel Archer now resides. Here he lived a few years. About 1850, he bought eighty acres where our subject now lives: improving the place, he made of it a fine farm, building upon it good structures and rendering the premises generally inviting. In 1853, he bought eighty acres more, on forty of which his son, David, now resides. His children were named Aaron, Samuel, Sarah E., Joseph, David, Perry, Nicholas and Mary. In Politics he was a stanch Democrat, but became a Republican on the organization of that party. He lived to be fifty-five years old. He and his wife were members of the Baptist church, but in later life of the New-Light church, a branch of the Christian Church. He was an upright, temperate and moral man, training his children to be honest and truthful and industrious. He was a strong Union man. Four of his sons enlisted for service in the Civil War; but one, Nicholas, was rejected because of ill health. The others were David, Perry and Samuel. Perry was in many battles, and after many years of ill health, died, from the effects of army life.

Samuel Archer, the subject of this sketch, was ten years old when he came with his parents to Indiana, and can well remember the journey. His father came here with Isaac Nogle, an uncle of Samuel. Starting about March 20, 1845, with a two-horse wagon, they were three weeks in making the journey. The children in this emigration were Aaron, Samuel, Joseph, David and Perry. When he arrived in Pulaski County, Mr. Archer had but fifty cents in money, and in property he owned one of the horses and the wagon, besides a little bed-clothing. He lived with Mr. Nogle until the ensuing autumn, when he built his own cabin, which was of logs, and in the humble structure he lived through the winter as well as he could, subsisting mostly on wild game and on corn obtained from Mr. Nogle.

Young Samuel attended school but a part of one term and that was in the pioneer log schoolhouse. He began work on the farm at an early age, having the usual experiences of pioneer children. The forest was alive with deer, raccoons, minks, wild hogs, ducks, geese, plover, snipe, quail and prairie chickens, --the last named in countless numbers. In those early days the pioneers obtained their meat for their families mainly from the hogs, deer and small game, there being no time when a plenty of it could not be obtained; and young Samuel killed many wild hogs and deer in his boyhood.

July 1, 1855, he was united in marriage with Isabel J. Reynolds, who was born May 28, 1837, in Clark County, Ohio, a daughter of John M. and Catharine (Swisher) Reynolds. By this marriage there were the following children: Eveline, born November 1, 1856; Margaret A., October 18, 1858; Susannah C., July 15, 1860; Martha E., May 4, 1860; Harvey J., June 2, 1868; and Susannah, March 16, 1875; and Mrs. Archer died in childbirth on the date last mentioned. For his second wife Mr. Archer married Barbara A. Pullins, who was born in Champaign County, Ohio, March 20, 1856, a daughter of Archibald and Sarah Ann (Ropp) Pullins. This marriage took place in Gillam Township, Jasper County, March 7, 1876, and to this union have been born Melinda G., December 28, 1877; Silvia M., August, 1878; Celina, March 25, 1880; John B., June 9, 1881; Simon W., September 4, 1885; Elmer E., December 30, 1887; Milo Clifford, February 25, 1891; and Alfred E., May 2, 1896.

Archibald Pullins was born in Champaign County, Ohio, about 1832, a son of Samuel V. Pullins, who was a pioneer of that county and of sturdy Pennsylvania-Dutch stock. Samuel Pullins' children were named Joseph, William, Archibald, Hannah, Mary, Rebecca and Elizabeth. Samuel Pullins died in Champaign County, at an advanced age. In that county he married Sarah Ropp, who was born in 1835, a daughter of Simon and Barbara J. (Demry) Ropp. He moved to Indiana about 1850, but four years later returned to Ohio and remained there three years; then, coming again to this state, he purchased eighty acres in Jasper County four miles west of where Samuel Archer now lives. This wild tract he improved, and later sold it and removed to Gillam township, where he bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, and upon it erected a tasteful residence; and here he passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1894. He was a class-leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was active and influential. His children were named Illy Ann, Barbara Ann, James, Preston, Elmer, Elias, Frank and Charles.

Samuel Archer settled on land in Cass township, which he obtained of his father and which he had helped to improve. He received as his share of the landed estate sixty acres, wild land, which he developed into a good farm, and there he established and equipped a comfortable home. Thus the place where he now lives is a part of the old homestead.

Mr. Archer is a veteran of the Civil War, enlisting January 27, 1865, at Medaryville, and being mustered in at LaPorte, this state, as a private of Company A, One Hundred and Fifty-first Regiment of Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to serve one year or during the war, and he was honorably discharged at Indianapolis, September 27, 1865, having been mustered out in Tennessee. He was engaged in battles at Nashville and other points in Tennessee; was active as a soldier and did his full duty promptly and cheerfully. Politically he is a Republican, and socially he is a member of Guild Post, GAR at Medaryville. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are influential citizens, held in high regard by all who know them.

Biographical History of Indiana 1899

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

WALTER V PORTER The Porter family in Jasper County not only deserves distinctions associated with long residence, but also with those sterling activities and civic character which are so important in the up building of any community. The people of that name have been identified with the county more than sixty- five years, and it is consistent with the prominence of the family that some of its members should receive individual mention in these pages.

The first of the family to locate in Jasper County was Asa Porter, Sr. He was born in Orange County, Indiana, and came to Jasper County in 1849, locating land in the southeast part of section 35, and the northeast part of section 2 in Marion Township in the country south of Pleasant Ridge. There he spent the rest of his days as one of the industrious farmers, and his efforts enabled him to accumulate considerable property. Asa Porter, Sr., married Lucinda McGrew, and they became parents of fourteen children. Three of their sons, Jonah, Asa and Rice, all gave up their lives as sacrifices to the Union cause during the Civil War. Asa Porter was a member of the Baptist Church and most of his family have been connected with the same denomination. By the old settlers yet living Asa Porter is recalled as a man who did much good in the community, was always ready to lend a helping hand to all worthy causes and in every way an ideal citizen.

Rice M. Porter, one of the sons of Asa Porters, Sr., was born in Orange County, Indiana, in 1834, and was a boy of fifteen when his parents removed to Jasper County. Very few of the Indiana counties of that time had improved school facilities, and Mr. Porter attended one of the old time schoolhouses, a rough building with slab benches for seats, puncheon floor, learned his lessons from his very limited range of text books, principally a speller and reader, wrote his copy with a goose quill pen, and his education was pronounced complete when he had mastered the fundamentals of arithmetic, reading, writing and spelling. In the meantime his practical training for the real duties of farm life had not been neglected, and for several years he applied himself to the duties found on the old homestead, clearing, planting and harvesting the crops. Rice M. Porter married Mary A. Clark, and to their union were born four children: Jessie F., Walter V., William M. and Asa. In the spring of 1865 Rice M. Porter enlisted in a company of the 151st Indiana Volunteer Infantry. His regiment went to the front and was assigned to guard duty, and while in the service Mr. Porter was taken down with malaria and died from that disease at Nashville, Tennessee. As already stated, he was one of three brothers who gave up their lives as sacrifices during the war. His widow survived him nearly half a century, passing away in June, 1913, and had spent her last years with a married daughter in Kansas.

Walter V. Porter, son of Rice M. and grandson of Asa Porter, Sr., has for many years sturdily upheld the reputation of his family in Jasper County, where he was born April 24, 1858. His name has been linked not only with the farming but the business affairs of his locality, and he has discharged his obligations as an individual with unvarying fidelity.

His boyhood was spent on the old homestead in Marion Township, and his education came from public schools which were only a few degrees advanced above those which his father attended. As the oldest son, he began helping his mother as soon as his strength permitted, and was her main dependence in keeping the home and her little family together until he reached his majority. He then found work as a farm hand, and earned his living in that way for three years.

March 23, 1882, Mr. Porter married Miss Amanda E. Parkinson, daughter of Joseph Parkinson of Jasper County. After his marriage he paid $25 an acre for a quarter section of land 2 miles east of Rensselaer on the Pleasant Ridge Road, and there began his independent career as a farmer. After making his home there and continuing his agricultural operations for eight years, Mr. Porter in the fall of 1890 became one of the partners in the management of the McCoy Ranch in Jordan Township. The McCoy Ranch for many years was one of the large farms and stock centers of Jasper County, and Mr. Porter was a responsible factor in its management for about sixteen years. He later continued the management of the ranch under the administrator of the McCoy estate until the estate was settled and the property sold. In 1907 Mr. Porter moved into Rensselaer, and has since had his home in the county seat. In 1891 he sold his original farm 2 miles east of town, and in 1892 bought a half section in Jordan Township near the Newton County line. This he sold in 1894, and then bought the old Richey place on Carpenter Creek in Marion Township. Since then Mr. Porter has increased his holdings in that vicinity and is now the owner of a fine farm of 480 acres. In addition to his general farming and stock interests he has for the past three years been engaged in building bridges and roads throughout Jasper County, and has undertaken and carried out most creditably a number of important contracts of this kind.

He has been identified with all movements tending to promote the best interests of this locality, and his record is that of a man of strict probity and sincere motives. Politically he is a republican and for about fourteen years has been a member of the county council. Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason, No. 125, and is also identified with the Knights of Pythias, No. 82.

Mr. and Mrs. Porter are the parents of six children: Joseph V., Rice, Fannie, Ella Dale, William Ross, Charles W. and Walter, Jr. Joseph V. Porter is a graduate of Rensselaer High School, and a member of the graduating class of 1906 from the North Western Military Academy at Highland Park, Illinois. At the present time he is serving as deputy sheriff of Jasper County. He married Miss Lola Fountain, of Newton County, a daughter of one of that county's leading citizens, and they have a little son, Darwin. Joseph V. Porter is a Republican and a member of the Masonic and the Knights of Pythias fraternities at Rensselaer. Fannie, the only living daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Porter, after attending the common and high schools of Rensselaer, was a student for two years in the Staunton Seminary at Staunton, Virginia, and also a student in the school of Faribault, Minnesota. She is the wife of Rev. Vaughn Woodworth, a clergyman in the Presbyterian Church near Omaha, Nebraska. William Ross Porter attended the common and high schools in Rensselaer, and is now a leading young agriculturist of Jasper County. He is a republican, a Mason and a Knight of Pythias. Charles W. Porter, another of the rising young farmers of Jasper County, received a good educational training, and sustains the same political and fraternal relations as his brothers. Walter, Jr., the youngest of the children living, is a member of the first year class of the Rensselaer High School. The daughter, Ella Dale, died in infancy. Mrs. Porter, the mother, is a native of Jasper County, where she was reared and educated, and is a member of one of the county's oldest and most prominent families. She a devout member of the Presbyterian Church.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

HIRAM BURGESS. One of the pioneer business men of the town of Goodland was the late Hiram Burgess, who died April 8, 1915, in Los Angeles, California. More than Forty-five years have passed since this branch of the Burgess family became identified with Newton County, and in his time the late Hiram Burgess was identified with farm development, with the drug business at Goodland, and with many of the movements and organizations which have been most beneficial in the welfare and progress of that community.

A son of John C. and Acsah (Christe) Burgess, and of Scotch-German descent, Hiram Burgess was born in Washington County, New York, July 9, 1832. His parents were among the early settlers of Washington County where his mother died in March, 1860, and his father in July, 1865. As a boy Hiram Burgess obtained common school education in New York, was thoroughly trained in business system and detail, and at the death of his father succeeded to the ownership of the old Burgess homestead, which occupied a picturesque site on the shore of Lake George.

It was in 1867 that he came West, locating first in Will County, Illinois, and from there three years later coming to Grand Township in Newton County, Indiana. He was a man of considerable means when he came to Newton County and his first enterprise was the purchase of one hundred twenty acres of wild prairie land two miles West of Goodland. He developed much of this land and made it his home while cultivating its crops until 1873. From that year forward for a great many years he was identified with the drug business in Goodland. He was one of the men who had faith in the village and as early as 1872 expended nearly seven thousand dollars in the construction of the Burgess Block, which in its time was the most conspicuous structure in the village. It had a frontage of sixty-two feet on Newton Street and eighty-six feet on Union Street. It was in that building that Mr. Burgess had his drug store. He sold out his drug business to Constable & Pierce and moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1905, where he spent the remainder of life retired.

The first presidential vote Hiram Burgess cast was for John C. Fremont, the first presidential standard bearers of the republican party. Ever afterwards he loyally supported the party, but never manifested any strong desire for the honors of politics. He was especially active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for thirty years was superintendent of its Sunday School. His wife was also identified with the same denomination.

On January 14, 1855, Mr. Burgess married Miss Tirsa Warren. Her Father was N. A. Warren of Essex County, New York. To their marriage were born three children: Eliza G., who married E. J. Hunter and has two children, Graham and Fannie. Mr. Hunter is deceased and his lived in Los Angeles. California. Elmer married Estella Hamilton and has one child, Lyle L. The family live in Los Angeles, California. Edward A. died in 1877. No direct descendants of Hiram Burgess live in Newton County.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

CHARLES E. BURGESS. For more than a quarter of a century the leading hardware merchant at Goodland has been Charles E. Burgess, whose home has been within the borders of Newton County nearly forty-five years, and whose standing as a business man and citizen requires little comment by way of introduction.

He was born in Washington County, New York, March 17, 1854, a son of Charles and Jane (Barrett) Burgess. Charles Burgess, his father, was also born in Washington County, New York, March 14, 1824, and was a son of John Burgess of Scotch-German stock. In 1857 Charles Burgess moved his family west to Will County, Illinois, and from that locality came in 1871 to Newton County, Indiana, locating three miles west of Goodland in Grant Township. A year later he moved to Goodland and was a resident of that town until his death. He was highly prosperous in all his undertakings, and at the time of his death lest an estate of more than four hundred acres, part of it included within the city limits of Goodland. It was by the rugged industry of pioneer farming that he accumulated the generous competence which he enjoyed in his later years and which he left to his descendants. Charles Burgess married Jane Barrett, who was also born in Washington County. His remains are now at rest in the Goodland cemetery. A brief record of their six children: Sophronia M., who lives in Goodland; Charles E.,; George L., of Goodland; Harry A., who married Emma Drake, lives in Grant Township; May J., wife of George R Sapp, who lives in Mecosta, Michigan; and Fayette A., a resident of Grant Township, who married Bernice A. Jakway, son of A. G. Jakway. The father of these children was a republican in politics, but was not a seeker for office, belonged to no secret orders, and exemplified in his individual career the sterling traits of manhood and character which were his essential possessions. He died in March, 1880, being survived by his widow.

When Charles E. Burgess was three years of age his family moved to Will County, and he was about seventeen when they came to Newton County. Since then his home has been within the borders of this county, and his education was finished in the public schools at Goodland. Quite early in his career, on account of the poor health of his father, he took the management of the home farm, and he demonstrated much practical ability in agricultural matters, though his real career began after he left the farm in 1888 and bought a half interest in the hardware store of T.J.Gray at Goodland. For many years the firm of Gray & Burgess carried the largest stock of hardware and implements in Grant Township, and was a successful concern under that name sixteen years. In 1904 Mr. Gray retired from business and since then the enterprise has been carried on under the individual name of Charles E. Burgess.

On December 9, 1886, Mr. Burgess married Lilly S. Stryker, daughter of Rev. William M. and Isabel Stryker of Emporia, Kansas. Her father, who was a minister of the Presbyterian Church and lived in many localities during his active career, was born in Pennsylvania of German descent, while her mother was a native of Ohio and of Scotch descent. Mr. and Mrs. Burgess have one child, Olive Virginia, now the wife of Brewster B. Hoornbeek of Elgin, Illinois.

In addition to his success as a merchant Mr. Burgess is known for his varied public and social activities. He has served as a member of the town board three years, as member and treasurer of the school board eight years, and was on the building committee during the construction of the handsome new school building at Goodland. In politics he is a republican, and he has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for many years, served as its treasurer twenty years and ten years as an elder. His wife is also active in the same denomination. Mrs. Burgess is a member of the Library Board at Goodland and is secretary of the local Women's Christian Temperance Union.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

GEORGE R. THORNTON. When one considers the hopes and enthusiasm, the labors accompanied by the sweat of the brow, the trials and misfortunes, and the nobility of self-sacrifice which have been woven into the early history of Jasper County by the lives of its early settlers, there comes a sense of responsibility connected with giving appropriate record wherever possible to those men and women who really laid the foundation of the present prosperous conditions and who since their work was accomplished have gone on to the future world. One of those most deserving of such memorial is the late George R. Thornton, who was in many ways conspicuous among the early settlers of the county.

Born in Ohio in 1818, George R. Thornton was a son of Phineas Thornton. Phineas Thornton was born in Vermont, and early in the history of Ohio as a state settled in Champaign County. George R. Thornton grew up to the life of a farmer. While living in Ohio he married Mary E. Roberts, and about 1842 they moved from that state to Indiana locating one mile from Surrey in Newton Township of Jasper County. Buying some land, he entered some from the government, in a totally wild condition. He built a house, typical of the structures of the time, and set himself vigorously to the work of clearing, plowing, planting and general improvement. For many years he lived there harvesting successive crops and gradually growing in prosperity and influence. When he and his wife came to Jasper County they had one daughter, Mercy E., who subsequently married Ira J. Baker. At their home in Jasper County were born four children: Malvina, now Mrs. Theodore F. Warne; George Jerome, who died when about nineteen years of age; Greenleaf L.; and Minerva, who died in infancy. The mother of these children died in 1855, and Mr. Thornton married for his second wife, Louisa Blankenbaker, who became the mother of eight children.

George R. Thornton ws a man of only limited education, but being a great reader remedied this early handicap and was regarded as one who possessed an unusual range of information and knowledge on many topics of interest. In religion he was a Baptist and died in that faith, while in politics he was first a whig and then a republican, but never aspired to public office and performed his best service as a neighbor, a father, and an upright citizen. Sober and industrious, and with a good practical sense, he met the issues of life as they arose and was rewarded with an ample share of material prosperity. Honest to the core, kind as a neighbor, and acting his belief in doing all the good he could, he commanded universal esteem. George R. Thornton died in 1892 at the age of seventy-four.

His son Greenleaf L Thornton has been one of the honored residents of Jasper County for many years, and his position in affairs is now that of county assessor, and both as an official and as a man he is one of the best known citizens of Jasper County. He was born on the old Thornton homestead in Newton Township May 1, 1852. The first twenty-one years of his life were spent at home and while there he gained a great deal of the practical training which has served him so well in his indepentent career. Such education as he obtained was acquired in the district schools, but the schools he attended during the decare of the '60s were far inferior in point of facilities and breadth of instruction to those which country boys now attend, although many of the noblest men and women of the country were products of just such institutions of learning.

On March 2, 1876, Mr. Thornton married Lydia A. Pillars, a daughter of Samuel and Adaline (Hammond) Pillars. The Pillars family were early settlers in Owen County, Indiana. After his marriage Mr. Thornton followed farming and stock trading until 1884 and then with such capital as he had accumulated he moved out to the State of Kansas. His residence in the Sunflower State during the next ten years was the most disatrous period of his career. The Kansas of thirty years ago was not the Kansas of today, and very few of its residents escaped the almost continous vicissitudes which beset the farmer and settler. While there Mr. Thornton lost practically every dollar he had in the world, and when he returned to Jasper County it was to begin life's battles entirely over again. He was soon on his feet and making headway as a farmer and trader, and that has been his chief business in the county for nearly twenty years, with the exception of four years spent in business at Surrey.

Mr. Thornton is avigorous member of the republican party of Jasper County and his experience in public office has been largely in the duties of assessing. For four years he was assessor of Newton Township, for one year was assessor of Marion Township, and in the fall of 1914 was the choice of the people of Jasper County for county assessor. He is now giving a most capagle administration in that office. Fraternally Mr. Thornton is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 143. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church. To their marriage have been born four children: Melvin J.; Raymon Earl; Malvina May, now Mrs. Orlo A. Abbott; and George Taylor.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

ADALINE (HAMMOND) THORNTON. Among the faithful, devoted, hard-working and self-sacrificing women whose lives adorned the early history of Northwestern Indiana, mention should be made of the late Mrs. Adaline (Hammond) Thornton, who died at her home in the northern part of Rensselaer March 12, 1910, at the age of eighty years two months thirteen day.

Adaline Hammond was born in Jackson County, Indiana, December 30, 1829, a daughter of Oliver and Lydia Hammond, who removed from Jackson County to Monticello, White County, in 1835, lived there until 1838, and then came as pioneers into the new country of Jasper County. The Hammonds were among the early settlers, and the late Mrs. Thornton spent her early life in the environment of seventy years ago, with such conditions as have since completely transformed by the march of progress.

In 1855 she married Samuel Pillars, who was likewise of the early settlers of Jasper County, but who did not live long after his marriage, passing away December 5, 1857. To their marriage was born one child, Lydia A. Pillars, now the wife of G. L. Thornton, Jasper County's popular assessor. In 1865 Mrs. Pillars married Henry T. Thornton, who died November 27, 1897. The two children of this marriage are: Dora May, Mrs. George Clark, and Josiah C. Thornton. At the time of her death Mrs. Thornton was survived by two brothers and a sister, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. As a child she was united with the Free Will Baptist Church and remained a faithful member and an earnest Christian until her death.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

DR. FRANCIS AUGUSTUS TURFLER. With the general advance of science in modern times various new methods of healing have sprung up, one of the most prominent of which is osteopathy. This is based on the theory that all diseases are due to some abnormal position of the bones of the body, and treatment is directed, therefore, wholly or chiefly, to that part of the human organism. A leading practitioner of this science in Jasper County is Dr. Francis Augustus Turfler, of Rensselaer, a man of more than average ability who has gained more than a local reputation. Dr. Turfler was born in Orange County, New York, October 13, 1878, and was educated in the public and high school at Warwick, that county. At a later period he went west and for some two resided at Kansas City, Missouri, while there being engaged in various occupations, having previously had some mercantile experience as a clerk in New York State. In the fall of 1900 he entered the American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri, (the parent institution of the science), and was graduated therefrom in 1902. He began the practice of his profession in Seward, Nebraska, but remained there but a short time, coming in 1903 to Rensselaer, where he has since followed it very successfully. In fact, his fame is so wide spread that he was selected as demonstrator before the National Osteopathic Association at the Jamestown Exposition, held at Norfolk, Virginia, and was also selected as a demonstrator before the National Society in the following year at Chicago. Later he demonstrated before the New England Society at Boston, and several times since before the Chicago Society. He has also been invited to demonstrate before the National Society at the meeting to be held in 1915. Doctor Turfler has contributed to the medical press articles on special subjects, on on cervical lesions attracting more than ordinary attention. The state organizations before which he has demonstrated are those of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Kentucky and Ohio. His practice has outgrown Jasper County and his patients come to him from various point throughout the United States. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the Indiana Osteopathic Association, and also the Chicago Association. His other society affiliations are with the Atlan Club of his school and the Knights of Pythias, Castle Hall No. 82. In religion he is a Methodist.

Aside from his profession Dr. Turfler is interested in onion production, and owns 500 acres of land, a large part of which is devoted to onion culture. He is the present president of the local society of onion growers. Doctor Turfler was married April 12, 1903, to Anna Francis, of Jasper County, who is also a graduate of the American Society of Osteopathy. They have had three sons: Francis Augustus; Arthur, who died in infancy, and Robert Still. The doctor's successful career illustrates the value of mental concentration upon any pursuit undertaken, and shows that "whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well."

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

NORMAN WARNER. For fifty-seven years a continuous resident of Jasper County and for fifty-five years living in the house in which he now resides at Rensselaer, Norman Warner has been in many other important ways closely identified with this community. He knew Rensselaer first when it was a hamlet, and his individual enterprise has been no unimportant factor in the collective activities which have constituted here one of the best small cities in Northwestern Indiana. As a business man his work was accomplished some years ago, and he has since surrendered the cares of a business which developed under his direction to his capable sons.

A native of Indiana, Norman Warner was born in Rush County March 15, 1833, so that he passed the eightieth milestone of his mortal journey several years ago. His parents were Daniel K. and Elizabeth (Phillips) Warner, the former a native of Connecticut and the latter of Ohio. Daniel K. Warner was a carriage maker by trade. As a Yankee peddler he came West in the early days of Indiana, and while in Rush County was married and for a time was associated with his wife's father in merchandising there. Subsequently, owing to the death of his father, he returned to Connecticut and was engaged in carriage making in that state until the early '40s. He then moved to Cincinnati, and established a factory as a carriage maker. While at Cincinnati he secured a valuable contract to wagons for the war department to be used in the Mexican war. Few men of his time had greater push and courage than Daniel K. Warner. In 1850, fired by the glowing reports of the discovery of gold in California, he made the journey to the Pacific Coast by way of the Isthmus of Panama, taking with him material for a sawmill. Finding no satisfactory location in California, he went on to Astoria, Oregon, and there set up his plant and was one of the early lumber manufacturers in that region of the Northwest which now supplies so much of the lumber material of the world. After operating his mill a little more than two years he sold out and returned to Indiana.

It was in 1853 that Daniel K. Warner first located in Jasper County. He bought nearly a section of land adjoining Rensselaer on the east. A little later he embarked on what was then considered a grand scale as a grower of wheat, planting for one crop more than five hundred acres to that grain. This was toward the end of his active and vigorous career, and he died on his farm in Rensselaer in 1856. His survived him until 1898. Of their nine children five reached maturity and two are now living.

Norman Warner, who was a young man of twenty-three when his father died, in youth had learned the blacksmith's trade as applied to carriage making at Cincinnati. His first acquaintance with Jasper County was made on his seventeenth birthday, in 1850, and his employment here at various occupations was varied, to use his own words, by "shaking with the ague." He also worked in Lafayette for a time.

On February 24, 1857, Norman Warner married Josephine Grant, a daughter of Daniel Grant, who had come to Jasper County as early as 1850. Following his marriage he lived at Waveland in Montgomery County for a time, and then moved to Rensselaer as his permanent home. For many years Mr. Warner followed general blacksmithing but from that embarked in the retail hardware business. For forty years he kept his place as one of the active merchants of Rensselaer, but since 1898 has been retired from the active cares of life. Mr. Warner is one of the few original republicans still living in Jasper County. He cast his first presidential ballot for John C. Fremont, the first standard bearer of the new republican party in 1856, and for more than half a century has steadfastly affiliated with that party. His chief public service through the medium of office was given by a service of fifteen years as coroner of Jasper County. He and his wife are members of the Church of God. To their marriage were born three children: Daniel Grant and Norman Hale, both merchants at Rensselaer as the successors of their father, and Charles Crittenden.

In February, 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Warner celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They are among the oldest couples of Jasper County, and their works and influence have well upheld the dignity associated with such long years. Few people of Jasper County are more widely known and none more highly respected than Mr. and Mrs. Warner.

Daniel Grant Warner, the oldest of the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Warner, has for many years been a successful factor in business affairs. He was born March 23, 1858, at Wavelnd in Montgomery County, Indiana, but soon afterward went with his parents on their return to Jasper County. He grew up in Rensselaer, attended the public schools of his time, and his career found its practical beginning as a clerk in his father's store. He has been identified with that business for about thirty-five years, and in 1898 he and his brother, Norman H., succeeded to its management under the firm name of Warner Brothers. Mr. Warner is a republican and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. On January 28, 1886, he married Miss Gertrude M. Robinson, a daughter of George M. Robinson. They have one son, Rex D. Mrs. Warner is an active member of the Presbyterian Church.

Norman Hale Warner, second of these sons, was born in the house in which his father now resides at Rensselaer on September 21, 1860. For fifty-five years he has lived in Jasper County, and with an education supplied by the public schools was thoroughly trained to business under the direction of his father. He assisted in the store until he and his brother succeeded to the business in 1898, and has since been one of the active members of the firm of Warner Brothers. He is a republican, and has been affiliated with the local lodge of the Knight of Pythias since 1881. On January 25, 1885, Norman H. Warner married Miss Blanche Burroughs, who died June 30,1897. Her daughter, Hazel, born December 13, 1885, was married on February 24, 1910, to fifty-third wedding anniversary of her grandparents, to J. V. Hamilton, and they now reside in Indianapolis. On August 24, 1899, Norman H. Warner married Miss Mary Fetrow of Denver, Indiana. Mrs. Warner is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Charles Crittenden Warner, the youngest of the three Warner brothers, has had a somewhat more varied career than the other two, spent several years in the West, served two terms as Circuit Court clerk of Jasper County, and is now prosperously engaged in the lumber business at Rensselaer. He was born in Rensseler October 26, 1862, and grew up in his home town, was educated in the public schools, and to describe his youthful days in his own words, passed much of his time fishing, playing baseball and frequenting the old "swimmin' hole" made famous by James Whitcomb Riley. Before reaching his majority he had made himself useful in his father's hardware store and finished his education by attending DePauw and Purdue universities. On completing his schooling he spent about three years in a law office as collector and in the handling of insurance and abstract work. From 1888 to 1892 Mr. Warner lived in Colorado, where he proved up on a quarter section of land, and for three years was employed in the county recorder's office of Baca County. Then returning to Rensselaer, he was in the retail hardware business for a time, but in 1902 was elected to office as Circuit Court clerk and began his duties in 1904. His service of eight years in that office was characterized by the fidelity and methodical management which are the chief requirements in such an office, and the duties of the position were never more capably performed than by Mr. Warner. Since leaving his office in the court house Mr. Warner has been engaged in the retail lumber business.

In politics he is a republican, and is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. On Oct 10, 1900, he married Miss Mary Bell Purcupile of Rensselaer. They have one daughter, Helen.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

JOHN L. NICHOLS. One of the oldest living representatives of the pioneer generation in Jasper County is John L. Nichols of Rensselaer. While he belongs to the third generation since the families of his mother and father came to America, those in the paternal line coming from Ireland and those in the maternal from Germany, there are few families who have been identified with the country west of the Alleghenies for a longer time. His father, George W. Nichols, was born in Kentucky in 1793, not long after Kentucky was made a sovereign stte and during the first administration of President Washington. His mother, Rebecca (Lewis) Nichols was born in Ohio in 1795, and thus it is evident that the family on both sides was identified with the early American movements to the West.

George W. Nichols was a farmer all his life. During the existence of that party he voted the whig ticket and was afterwards equally loyal to the principles of the republican doctrines and candiates. He served as a justice of the peace for many years in Jasper County, and was a very active and substantial citizen. He was a working member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

It was in October, 1842, that the Nichols family came to Jasper County. Little had been done in the way of clearing and emprovment at that time, and even when John L. Nichols was old enough to appreciate his surroundings his outlook was upon a district very sparsely populated and practically everyone living in log cabins and making very slow advances towards clearing and cultivating the land. The family on coming to Jasper County settled in Barkley Township, where the father bought one hundred sixty acres direct from the Government, paying the regular price of one dollar and a quarter per acre. In that community the family of children were reared, and of these children there were twelve in number, namely: Cynthia Ann, Jackson, Elizabeth, Hester Jane, Olive, Solomon, John L., Harrison, Samuel R., Mary Matilda, Benjamin and Alonzo. All are now deceased except John L. and Mary Matilda. The oldest son, Jackson, enlisted as a private in an Indiana regiment for service in the Mexican war, going to the front from Rensselaer, and he died while in service south of the Rio Grande. While he was the only one of his family to serve in the Mexican war, there were two of the sons who made records in the Civil War. These were John L. and his brother, Solomon, both of whom enlisted on August 11, in 1862 in Company A of the 87th Indiana Infantry. They went out as privates and both fought at the battle of Perryville, in the fall of the same year. John L. Nichols subsequently was stricken with the measles, and was sent home and given an honorable discharge in May, 1863.

The mind of John L. Nichols is stored with many interesting recollections of early conditions and people in Jasper County. As he was born December 16, 1839, in Champaign County, Ohio, he was about three years old when the family moved to Jasper County, and his individual recollections go back into the decade of the '40s, for almost seventy years. As a boy he attended school at the old Hinkle schoolhouse. That was a school supported on the old time subscription plan when a family paid two dollars for a term of three months for each pupil in the school. After John L. had attended four terms, his education so far as books and schools were concerned was ended, since his services were required at home as a helper on the farm and thenceforth his training was in the direction of practical work in the line of the occupation which he followed for a livelihood throughout his active years.

On October 25, 1859, when about twenty years of age, Mr. Nichols married Martha Daniels, member of an old and prominent Jasper County family. They had little more than established their first home when Mr. Nichols left to enter the army. To their union were born six children: Angeline, Wallace, Jesse, Dallas, Hattie and Chattie. In May, 1885, the beloved mother of this family was laid to rest, after more than twenty-five years of married companionship. After her death the family live in Rensselaer for six months, but then returned to the home farm.

Mr. Nichols' second marriage was with Mary Reed, but no children were born of that union. His present wife was Mrs. Eliza Jane (Potts) Lowman, their marriage having occurred on the 17th of May, 1912. Mrs. Nichols was born in Hancock County, Indiana, October 26, 1856, and she was reared and educated there. By her marriage to Charles Lowman she became the mother of five children, of whom four are now living, three sons and one daughter, all residents of Indiana. Mr. Lowman died in 1902. Both Mr. and Mrs. Nichols are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Rensselaer, and he is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of that city.

Mr. John L. Nichols in his own work as a farmer has rendered the country a service through the extensive improvements he has placed upon his land and has kept his own property up to the advanced standards of progressive agriculture. In politics he is a republican and served as trustee of his home township for four years. In every movement for public improvement, education, general uplift in moral and religious conditions, he has given his active support.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

IRA M. WASHBURN.For almost forty years the Washburn has had familiar associations in Jasper County with the profession of medicine. The older representative of the name is Dr. Israel B. Washburn, and his son, Dr. Ira M. Washburn has for the past fifteen years looked after a large and excellent practice in medicine and surgery at Rensselaer.

Both these physicians were natives of Indiana and Dr. Ira M. Washburn was born at Logansport June 23, 1874. Dr. Israel B. Washburn was also born in Cass County, a son of Moses L. Washburn, who was a farmer by occupation and settled in Cass County in Pioneer times.

Dr. Israel B. Washburn graduated from Rush Medical College in Chicago with the class of 1861. He soon afterwards entered the army and was surgeon of the 46th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He entered the army as a private soldier in the ranks and was gradually advanced along the line of promotion until he attained the position of surgeon in the regiment with the rank of major. He was still under twenty-five when he reached this high responsibility, and that was a splendid compliment to his ability and soldierly qualities. After the war he located in Logansport, practiced there until 1877, and then removed to Rensselaer, which was his home until his death in 1903. He was one of the organizers and the first president of the Kankakee Valley Medical Society, which later became the Tenth District Medical Society. He was an unusual man in his profession and kept abreast of the times by extensive reading and post-graduate courses. He was also a liberal contributor to the medical press and one of the foremost medical men of his day in Indiana. Dr. Israel B. Washburn married Martha A. Moore of Logansport. Of their eight children four are still living. The mother now makes her home in Virginia.

Dr. Ira M. Washburn came to Rensselaer when three years of age. He grew to manhood in this locality and from the public schools he entered Purdue University where he was graduated Bachelor of Science in 1896. In the fall of the same year he entered Rush Medical College at Chicgo, but had previously read medicine under his father's direction. While a student in Chicago he enlisted as hospital private for the Spanish-American war. He became a member of Company K First Infantry, Illinois National Guard. Subsequently he was promoted to the rank of hospital steward. He was one of the comparatively few volunteers who got into actual service, and was present at the siege of Santiago. He received his honorable discharge from the army December 1, 1898.

Reentering Rush Medical College, he remained there until graduating M.D. in 1900. Since then for fifteen years steadily he has practiced a Rensselaer, and succeeded to much of the practice which his father had enjoyed and has built up a large and influential clientele of his own.

He is a member of the North American Association of Railway Surgeons, the Monon Railway Surgeons Association, the American Medical Association, the Indiana State Medical Association, the Tenth District Medical Society and the Jasper and Newton Counties Medical Society. Fraternally he affiliated with the Masonic Order. On June 10, 1903, Doctor Washburn married Elsie M. Watson. Their four children are named Josephine, Mary, Nathaniel and Elsie.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

HENRY AMSLER. Some of the most progressive of Jasper County's citizens came from the West rather than from the East, which is the usual movement in the progress of migration. In this class is found Henry Amsler, who is a native of Illinois, in which state he spent most of his years until his removal to Jasper County about fifteen years ago. Mr. Amsler is a veteran of the Civil War, and laid the foundation for his material prosperity in the rich farming districts of Central Illinois. Though now a resident of Rensselaer, he is one of the extensive land holders of Jasper County.

A native of Woodford County, Illinois, he was born there December 5, 1838, a son of John and Anna (Brock) Amsler. Both his parents were born in the little Republic of Switzerland, were reared and married there, and while able to provide for their needs by the simple and limited possibilities of farm husbandry in the old country, they were induced by the promise of greater opportunities in the New World to come to America, and accomplished that journey, then a very difficult performance, during the closing years of the decade of the 20's. There were no steamships crossing the Atlantic at that time, and the sailing vessel on which they took passage was two months on the voyage. For about four years they lived in Pennsylvania, then moved west and for one year farmed in what is now a part of the City of Peoria, Illinois. From there they went to Woodford County and later to Tazewell County, where they spent the remaining days of their lives. They were the parents of nine children, one of whom was born in Switzerland, and four of them are still living.

The youth and early manhood of Henry Amsler was spent in assisting in the work of the home farm in Illinois. His entire attendance at school did not aggregate more than eighteen months. At the age of twenty-one he started out for himself, and as might be truthfully said he began at the bottom of the ladder of life, and with the exception of the time while he was in the army has always followed farming and agricultural pursuits. For about ten years he was engaged in agriculture in Woodford County, but with that exception his home was in Livingston County, Illinois, until his removal to Jasper County. In August, 1901, he came to this county, and has since had his home in Rensselaer, but owns and looks after the cultivation and management of about 700 acres of land in the county.

On November 11, 1866, Mr. Amsler married Miss Emma J. Clark. She was born in Franklin County, New York, January 1, 1849, a faughter of Jonas and Martha (Mills) Clark, who spent their declining years in Jasper County with Mr. and Mrs. Amsler. They both died here, and each was about ninety-three years of age at the time. Mr. and Mrs. Amsler have become the parents of five children. Bert married Miss Eliza Clark, and they have four children; Myrtle, who married Floyd Spain, and they have one child, Bert, two months old; Ralph, William and Geraldine. James Amsler, the second son, married Miss Nettie Eldred, and their three children are Theodore, Della and Sylvester. Iva married Jesse Carvalho, and they have two children, Milton and Lorene. Myrtle married Irving Jones, and they have six children: Josephine, Mildred, Lewis, Gerald, Clark and Louise. Floyd married Miss Opal Beibert, and their only child is Floyd Seibert. Mrs. Amsler, the mother of these children, has ever been faithful to her religious duties in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which she is an official in the Ladies' Aid Soziety and the Ladies Foreign Missionary Society.

In Politics Mr. Amsler has supported the republican candidates since casting his first vote for Lincoln in 1860. When the Civil War threatened the disruption of the Union he enlisted at one of the critical times in the struggle on August 27, 1862, in Company F of the Eighty-fifth Illinois Infantry. He went to the front at Louisville, Kentucky, and a few days later was first under fire in the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. His regiment participated in a number of minor engagements and also in the great battle of Stone River, though owing to illness Mr. Amsler was not present at that engagement. Later he fought at Missionary Ridge and wa also on the expedition sent to relieve Knoxville. He rejoined Sherman's command in time to participate in the great campaign through Northern Georgia, and was in much of the hundred days' fighting between Chattanooga and Atlanta, and participated in the siege and fall of Atlanta, one of the chief strategic centers of the Confereracy. After the capture of Atlant he continued with Sherman's armies in their splendid march to the sea, cutting a swath across the Emire State of Georgia sixty miles wide, thence went up through the Carolinas, and ended his military career in the Grand Review at Washington. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant in July, 1865, after nearly three years of continous service. Mr. Amsler is one of the esteemed members of the Grand Army of the Republic in Jasper County, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

A Standard History of Jasper and Newton Counties Indiana
The Lewis Publishing Company - Chicago and New York - 1916

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page

For more information, contact
Carol J. Wood
Harvey W. Wood

Return to 1916 Jasper County Biographies
Return to Jasper County Home Page