Cass Township Biographies

Uriah Christenberry, a native of Taylor Township, Greene Co., Ind., was born August 18, 1833, and is one of thirteen children of Hiram and Lucy (Baker) Christenberry, who were among the pioneers of Greene County. Excepting a few years, Mr. Christenberry has always made his home in the county where he now resides, and here he received his schooling from the primitive log cabin of that day. His marriage with Lucinda Wegner was solemnized December 11, 1856, and on the 22d of April, 1860, he was left a widower with one child, Lucinda now living. He married his second wife, Mrs. Suaney (Porter) Grove, September 8, 1864, and to this union seven children have been born?Lillie Belle, John F., Thomas J., Emilie K, Minnie M., Walter C. and Lulu A. Mr. Christenberry has followed farming mostly through life, and besides this he was connected in the drug trade at Newberry for about eight years. He owns a good farm of 200 acres, nicely improved and under good cultivation. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is one of the progressive and best citizens of the county. In youth, he received the sobriquet of "Tom," and by this name he is as much known as by the name he was christened.

Andrew J. Cox, stock-dealer, Newberry, was born in Monroe County, Ind., February 27, 1849, and is a son of Isaac and Charion (Brummet) Cox, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. Isaac Cox came to Indiana previous to his marriage, settled in Monroe County, where he filled various positions of honor and trust, and engaged in farming and stock-dealing. He was an old Jackson Democrat in politics, and he and wife were intelligent and esteemed citizens and the parents of seventeen children. He departed this life in November, 1874, but his widow still survives him and lives on the old place in Monroe County. Andrew J. was reared upon the home farm, and until sixteen years old attended the common schools. He then attended the State University at Bloomington two years, after which he entered the Bryant & Stratton Business College at Louisville, Ky., graduating in 1869. The fall of this year he came to Greene County and for about four years taught school at Newberry and Scotland. June 16, 1875, Miss Sadie Shoemaker became his wife. This lady was born at Newberry, a daughter of Daniel and Susanna Shoemaker, who were among the early and well known settlers of the county. She died February 28, 1879. Since the death of his wife, Mr. Cox has made his home at Newberry, his time being employed in buying stock over Greene and adjoining counties. He is an excellent judge of stock, and is one of the county's best business men. As a Democrat in politics, he is outspoken in his views, and at one time was the candidate of his party for County Auditor, suffering defeat only by four votes, which fully attests his popularity. He is a member of the F. & A. M. and the K. of P. fraternities; is a jovial companion, frank and generous in disposition, and is a man possessed of more than average literary attainments.

F. M. Gilbert, a native of Williams County, Ohio, was born August 17, 1848, and in October, 1865, removed with his father to Greene County, Ind., which has since been his home. To his parents, Eli B. and Ann .(Calvin) Gilbert, two children were born--F. M., and Lois, now Mrs. D. M. Bynum. The mother died September 27, 1864, and to the father's marriage with Phoebe Boys, the following children were born: Ida, Lee, Effie, Wade H. and one that died in infancy. Eli B. Gilbert was a farmer, an honored and esteemed citizen, whose death on the 8th of January, 1881, was universally regretted by all who knew him. F. M. Gilbert attended the district schools in youth, was raised on a farm and on attaining majority began doing for himself. He completed his schooling by attending business college at Warrenton, Mo., and Lexington, Ky , anti embarked in merchandising at Lyons in 1872, with D. M. Bynum as a partner. At the end of eighteen months, he sold out, but in September, 1875, again began merchandising at Lyons. In March, 1876, James Carpenter became his partner, and at the end of about four years the successor of the firm, by reason of Mr. Gilbert's selling out and engaging in the grain trade. Ho then sold out, came to Newberry, where he operates a general store, carrying about $4, 500 worth of goods, and transacts an average annual trade of $11 000. Mr. Gilbert is a Democrat and an earnest advocate of the temperance cause. He was married, February 23, 1870, to Carrie Alkire, by whom he is the father of three children?Armor, Cline and Ethel. The parents are members of the Christian Church and among Newberry'; best citizens.

Daniel Henshaw, deceased, was of Southern birth, born December 16, 1826. The death of his father when he was an infant left him to the care of his mother who removed with him to Greene County, Ind., in 1828, and afterward married William Bynum. Daniel Henshaw married Anna Dellinger for his first wife, but she and the three children born to them are now dead. He was married to Susanna (Slinkard) Shoemaker in December, 1860, and in 1861 became a member of Company C, Fifty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and died of disease at Farmington, Tenn., July 3, 1862. Mrs. Henshaw was the daughter of Frederick Slinkard. She was born in Greene County July 1, 1827; was married to Daniel Shoemaker in August, 1848, by whom she had five children, only two?Catharine E. and Fredrick S.?yet living. Mr. Shoemaker died February 5, 1859, and by her last husband, Mrs. Henshaw was the mother of two children?Anna (Mrs. David Nugent) being the only survivor. Mrs. Henshaw has been a member of the Lutheran Church since sixteen years old, and resides at Newberry, within sight of her birthplace. Although sorely afflicted by the death of many of her nearest and dearest relatives, she has submitted to the decrees of the All-wise Creator without murmuring, and is a firm believer in His works.

Reason C. Hilburn, one of the oldest and most successful teachers in Greene County, was born January 1, 1833, in South Carolina, and when nearly three years old, his parents moved to Indiana and settled in Taylor Township, this county. Here the subject of this sketch was reared, his educational and other advantages being only such as were common at that early day. By economy, he was afterward enabled to attend Asbury University for about three years, after which he embarked on his career as a school teacher, which profession he has since followed with marked success. For upward of fifteen years he had charge of the schools of Newberry, ,but in 1871 his services were recognized by the authorities, and he received the appointment of County Superintendent. lie served in this capacity until the fall of 1876 and in 1880 he was again elected to this position, serving one year longer. Prof. Hilburn deserves no small amount of credit for the part he has taken in the advancement of educational matters in Greene County, and to his energy and forethought the county is largely indebted for the numerous good school buildings which are now an honor to it. With the exception of two terms in Owen County, and five terms in Daviess County, Prof. Hilburn has always plied his vocation in Greene County, and among its educators he ranks second to none. He was united in marriage with Miss Mary Ann, daughter of Andrew Slinkard, deceased, on the 21st-of April, 1858, and although five children have been born to them, only one son--Willie Andiers yet living, Prof.Hilburn is an unswerving Democrat in politics, and he and wife are members of the Lutheran Church.

DR. E. W. Hilburn, the youngest but one of a large family of children, was born in Taylor Township, this county, December 31, 1837, a son of Reason and Rebecca (Elmore) Hilburn, who emigrated from South Carolina to Greene County Ind., in 1835. Tbey first located in Taylor Township, where Mr. Hilburn engaged in farming, but he afterward carried on a store, in partnership with Cary O'Neal, in the neighborhood of where Alexander Neff now resides in Newberry. He died at his home in Taylor Township in July, 1844, but his widow survived him many years, finally dying at the home of Dr. Hilburn in Newberry, in December, 1872. Of the children born to them, five are now living, three in Greene County, one in Knox County, and one in Webster County, Iowa. E. W. Hilburn lived with his parents until eighteen years old, 'when he began school at Asbury University, remaining there about six months then for six months longer attending the State University. He confined his studies at these two places to the branches on sciences and that which seemed to be of the most practical value. After leaving college, he taught public school nine terms, then began the study of medicine with Dr. J. H. Dagley, with whom he remained four years. He then attended a course of lectures at Chicago, succeeding which he practiced for a time in Owen and Knox Counties, and in 1871 graduated from the Miami Medical College of Cincinnati. In 1865, he located in Newberry, which has since been his home, and where he has achieved flattering success in his profession. For the past eight years, he has also been engaged in a profitable merchandising business-. Dr. Hilburn is one of the influential Democrats of Cass Township, and although a seeker after no political favors, is now serving his second term as Township Trustee, during his first term having built the present brick school edifice. He is the present Master of Newberry Lodge, No. 166, F & A. M., and himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church The marriage of Millie Trueblood with Dr. Hilburn occurred in 1869, and their union has been blessed with two children, only one "Alice C." yet living.

John W. Johnson, teacher, Newberry, was born near Solsberry, in Center Township, Greene County, Ind., May 20, 1854, and is one of eight children, all living, born to Warren and Nancy (Baker) Johnson, who were natives respectively of Kentucky and Tennessee, and of English descent. Both the Johnson and Baker families were among the pioneers of Greene County, the last named first settling in Rush County on coming to the Hoosier State. Warren Johnson was a farmer by occupation, a Democrat in politics, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He always took an active interest in matters pertaining to the welfare of his community, and for a number of years was a Justice in his township. He moved to Daviess County in about 1860, and from there to Cass Township, Greene-County, a number of years later, where be died September 7, 1881. His widow continues to survive him, and resides on the old homestead. John W. Johnson was raised largely in his native county, where he acquired the most of his education by private study. At twenty years of age, he began for himself, and the winter of 1875-76 taught his first term of public school. Since that time Mr. Johnson has turned his attention almost exclusively to teaching and farming. As a public instructor, he has proven a success in every sense of the word, as his twelve terms of successful teaching fully determines. He is a Democrat, is the present Assessor of his township, is a member of the Blue Lodge in Masonry, and is the owner of 100 acres of good land.

William H. Killian was born February 1, 1837, in Daviess County, Ind. He is one of five children born to Wiley and Rosanna (Wesner) Killian. On the 7th of September, 1856, he was married to Mary J. Slinkard, of Greene County, Ind. Later the same year, Mr. Killian settled in Greene County, where he has lived in Cass Township ever since. He has followed farming mostly and with good success. In 1871, he began doing a general merchandise business at Newberry, and for about five years did a prosperous trade, but the panic of 1873, and high water of 1875, proved rather too heavy adverse financial tides to be withstood, and he then abandoned merchandising. Since then, fortune has better favored him, and he is again paying attention to farming and to running a saw mill, which he owns in partnership with his son. Mr. Killian is a member of the Lutheran Church and Sunday School, and is the main support of these institutions at Newberry. Mr. and Mrs. Killian have a family of eight children?Waldren D., Laura C., Rosanna S., Maggie S., Martha J., Gracie L., Edith V. and Louis H. For years Mr. Killian has taken an active part in all matters pertaining to his township, and has been its Trustee for three years, and is at present a Justice of the Peace.

Daniel Miller, dealer in drugs, groceries and notions, was born in Holmes County, Ohio, March 29, 1839, and is one of ten children, six yet living, born to Michael and Margaret (Harrigan) Miller, the former being born in Germany and the latter of Irish descent. Daniel was raised on his parent's farm, received a common school education, and the fall of 1859, went to Wayne County, Ohio, where he followed threshing until the spring of 1860, when he went to Summit County, continuing a like business in conjunction with farming. In 1862, Miss Diana Kepler became his wife, and four years later he and wife came to Greene County, Ind., which has since been their home. Mr. Miller first purchased a farm in Cass Township, upon which he resided until 1872; then removed to Newberry with the expectation of retiring from active work, but shortly afterward he was induced to be a partner with Uriah Christenberry in merchandising. He is now alone in the business, carries a full line of goods and commands a good trade. Since being a resident of Greene County, Mr. Miller has united with his neighbors in the support of all matters of a beneficial nature to his town, township or county, and for sixteen years he has been honored as the Justice of the Peace for Cass Township. He was first elected the spring of 1868, every vote cast in the township being in his favor, except the one he polled for his opponent. He is yet serving in that capacity, and is an old-fashioned Democrat in politics. He and wife have had born to them three children, but all died in infancy.

Henry C. Owen, SR. Postmaster, and proprietor of the Owen House, Newberry, was born in Madison County, Ky., October 15, 1814, a son of William and Sally (Crook) Owen, with whom he came to Lawrence County, Ind., in 1819, where he was principally raised. In 1832, he went to Henry County to learn carpentering, and two years later married Frances Jones. In 1836, he returned to Lawrence County, but in 1839 located in Scotland, Greene County, where he remained ten years; then removed to Newberry, where, with the exception of five years, he has since resided. His wife dying in March, 1866 he took for his second wife Mrs. Catharine E. (Slinkard) Landers, in February, .1867. By his first wife, he was the father.of ten children, all living but four. To his present marriage three have been born, but only one lives. Mrs. Owen is a daughter of Fredrick Slinkard, and the widow of John Landers, who died at New Madrid during the rebellion. By her first husband she has one living daughter. Mr. Owen is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1838, and is a Republican in politics, formerly a Whig. He had been at Scotland only two months, when he was elected Justice of the Peace, serving as such five years. From 1840 to 1848, he was Postmaster at Scotland, and for four years, beginning in 1848, ho was County Assessor. In 1860, he was commissioned Postmaster at Newberry, but resigned on his removal to Bloomfield to occupy the office of County Treasurer. He was re-elected in 1868, served four years in all, and lived in Bloomfield almost five years to the day. Since January, 1874, he has been Postmaster at Newberry, where he is also conducting one of the best country hotels in. Indiana. He is an upright citizen, with many warm and steadfast friends.

DR. J. A. Sims, a native of Greene County, Ind., and a successful physician at Newberry, was born in Beech Creek Township, July 23, 1850, and is one of six living children in a family of nine born to Alston and Martha A. (Wilson) Sims. Alston Sims was born in Monroe County, Ind., in about 1817, a son of Alexander and Barbara Ann Sims, who were natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee. These grandparents of Dr. Sims emigrated to Monroe County, Ind., a year previous to the admission of the State into the Union, but afterward moved to Beech Creek Township, this county, where they finally died. Alston and Anderson Sims entered land in Beech Creek Township at an early day, and were the first of their family to endure the hardships of pioneer life in Greene County. The former married his wife in Owen County, and resided at their home in this county until the fall of 1883, when they sold out and moved to Jack County, Tex., which is at present their home. J. A. Sims was raised in a similar way, as were the majority of the boys at that day. At the age of seventeen years, he began teaching school. and for thirteen terms of five months each pursued this vocation with gratifying success. On the 19th of October, 1873, Miss Alice Rice became his wife, and this same year he began the study of medicine. In 1875, he moved to Newark, and while pursuing his studies under the advisement of Dr. M. L. Holt, he taught the village school two terms, then took a course of lectures at the Medical College of Indiana, and the spring of 1878 began practicing at Newark as an equal partner of his .preceptor. The fall of 1878, he returned to his old alma mater, graduating in 1879. In July of the last-named year, Dr. Sims located in Newberry, where he has since practiced his profession with good success he is a member of Odd Fellows' fraternity; is a Democrat in politics; himself and wife are members of the Christian Church, and the parents of two children?Carrie, born October 19, 1874, and Lenna, born September 3, 1882.

Slinkard Family. There is no greater pleasure for the hand and pen of the historian or biographer to perform than in recording the notable events in the lives of the first settlers of a locality, tracing their steps from homes of ease and comfort in the East to dangers and hardships among the unbroken forests of the West. In this sketch, the writer desired to give a more complete biography, but, owing to a failure to secure data promised by members of the family, he was compelled to do as best he could under existing circumstances. The family is of German origin, and ancestors of the name were closely related to the nobility of the old country. They emigrated to America when Great Britain yet held sway over the colonies, and early found homes in the Carolinas. Later generations of the family took decided grounds against human slavery, and this was one of the principal reasons that led John Slinkard and wife, Catharine, together with their family, to come to Indiana in 1817. They settled first in Knox County, but in the spring of 1818 removed to what is now Cass Township, Greene County, where members of the family have ever since resided. John and Catharine were parents of the following-named children: Andrew, Frederick, Moses, Henry, John, Daniel, Mary, Susanna and Catharine. Of these, all are now dead except Catharine, who resides in Missouri, at an advanced age. Andrew was born in Lincoln County, N. C., in February, 1794; was married to Mary Wesner. by whom he became the father of twelve children, five yet living, one in Knox County, one in Montgomery County, and the remainder in Greene County: Of the latter. Andrew B. lives southwest of Newberry, and is the father of John F., ex-Clerk of Greene County. Andrew, Sr., died in January, 1868, and his widow in December, 1870. Frederick was born in February, 1796; married Catharine Skomp, who bore him thirteen children, all dead but one son, Samuel, and four daughters. He was a prominent man of his day, and his death, which occurred in April, 1860, was widely mourned, as was also the death of his widow in August, 1875. Moses was born in April, 1802, and died in November, 1848. He married Mary Skomp in February, 1828, who died in 1839, leaving a large family of children, three of whom yet live, whose names are Henry S., an ex-Sheriff of the county; Samuel W. and Mrs. Susan Neal. Moses married for his second wife Rebecca Wesner, and of the five children born to this union only Moses V. and Mrs. Margaret Hindman are now living. Henry, the fourth son of the old pioneer, John Slinkard, became well known by the surrounding neighborhood. His daughter. Eliza, married William D. Shields, and their descendants are living in the southern part of Cass Township. The Slinkard family throughout have been one of the best ever to honor Greene County as their home. As a rule, they have been industrious, honest and law-abiding people, and their influence has ever been felt in the advancement of all enterprises of a beneficial character. Five generations have lived within the borders of Greene County, and being of a prolific nature, the majority of the citizens of Cass Township are in some way connected with the family.

John F. Slinkard, grqat-grandson of John Slinkard, the old pioneer of Greene County, was born near Newberry, in Cass Township, November 16, 1849, and is a son of Andrew B. and Sarah (O'Neal) Slinkard. He was raised on a farm until sixteen years old, and in early years received his. learning from the common schools. In 1868, he completed a course of instruction from the Vincennes Commercial College, and for the succeeding ten years was in partnership with his father at Newberry, in mercantile pursuits. In 1878, he received the nomination of his party for the County Clerkship, and after a sharp contest in which he had a Republican majority to overcome, he was duly elected. He served in this 'capacity four years, but since then has been engaged in farming in his native township. Mr. Slinkard is an Odd Fellow, and like the majority of his name a warm Democrat in politics. January 1, 1873, Miss Caroline, daughter of Aaron and Nellie Williamson, became his wife. To their union this family has been born: Oscar P., Annetta. E., Nellie W., Harry K., Cyrus L. and one as yet unnamed. Mr. Slinkard is one of the prominent men of southern Greene County, and both he and family are universally esteemed.

J. W. Walker was born in Beech Creek Township, Greene Co., Ind., September 18, 1856, and is the only son of Edward IV. and Mary D. Walker. He is of English and Irish descent. His father being a farmer of limited means, was unable to do much for him, either in the way of giving him an educational or a financial start in life. He was permitted, however, to attend the district school until he was sixteen. At that age, he obtained from Prof. R. C. Hilburn, an eighteen months' license to teach. One year prior to this time, he received the most severe shock of his life?his father and mother separated--and he was subjected to the taunts of a heartless world. For a few months the future to him seemed starless. But possessing a strong will, a bright intellect, a commendable ambition, he made a vigorous effort to secure an education. His progress was so rapid that at the age of seventeen he began his first school. By teaching, he earned the means of support to further pursue his studies. In this way he has become one of the most efficient and popular teachers in Greene County. He was a student in the Solsberry High School for two terms, Prof. R. A. Ogg, a graduate of the State University, being his instructor. The next school he attended was the Northern Indiana Normal. He spent two years there, graduating in 1878. In the summer of the next year, he was employed by County Superintendent S. W. Axtell to assist Profs. Ogg and Menges in the Bloomfield Normal. Since that time, he has taught at various places with a high degree of success. He was at Newberry for three years, in the meantime conducting two summer normals. He was employed by Dr. E. W. Hilburn as Principal of the Newberry High School, at a salary of $10 per month more than was ever given any other teacher of Cass Township. In 1888, he and Prof. W. B. McKee had control of the summer term of the Bloomfield Normal. At this time, he and Prof. Frame are associate Principals of the same school. In March, 1881, be was married to Miss Lora Glidden, who had charge of the Second Intermediate Department of the Worthington Schools. They now have two children. In politics, he is a positive Democrat. In the spring of 1880, he was initiated into the Worthington Lodge, No. 137, I. 0. 0. F. He is not a member of any church, but believes in the common brotherhood of mankind, and in practicing the broad principles of humanity and Christianity as found in the golden rule. Thus far his career is a fair demonstration of what can be accomplished by energy, enterprise and a stern determination to succeed ia the face of all difficulties.