Center Township Biographies

John W. Bingham, senior member of the firm of Bingham & Holtsclaw, dealers in general merchandise, was born in the township and county where he now resides in the year 1857, and is a son of Edmund and Eliza (Olinger) Bingham who were natives of the Old Dominion, from whence they removed to Indiana at an early date. John W. passed his early years on the farm of his parents, but when about the age of eighteen years began teaching school which he continued upward of six years. Since then he has been engaged in farming and merchandising, in the latter vocation transacting a lucrative business. His nuptials with Miss Hester A. Holtsclaw were celebrated in 1877, and to their union three children have been born?Flossie E. (deceased), Howard C. and Flossie E. Mr. Bingham is one of the progressive and prominent young men of our county, and where most intimately known, is best liked.

Thomas Bogard, Trustee of Center Township and a descendant from one of the first families to settle in what is now Greene County, was born in the county, where he yet resides, in the year 1823,'and is one of two surviving children in a family of seven born to Cornelius and Jane (Benham) Bogard, who were natives of Ohio and Virginia respectively. His early years were passed in assisting his parents on the home farm, but on attaining his twenty-second year commenced farming for himself, which has since been his occupation. By industry he has secured a good farm of 200 acres, and also sixteen town lots in the village of Hobbieville, upon one having erected one of the finest dwellings in the township. Mr. Bogard was married to Miss Mary O'Neal, his first wife, in 1843, and one son?William?of the four children born to them, is yet living. He married Miss Lucinda James, his present wife in 1862. Mr. Bogard is, as was his father before him, a Democrat in politics; is a member of the F. ,& A. M., and both he and wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Moses Crockett, County Commissioner, was born July 15,1830. in Owen County, Ind., and is one of nine children born to James and Louisa (Oley) Crockett, who settled in Owen County at a very early day, but subsequently removed to this county. Moses Crockett received only limited educational advantages in youth, and his general occupation through life has been farming. At the time he began doing for himself, he had little or no means, but ambition, the chief characteristic of an American, propelled him forward, and by years of hard toil and economy he has acquired 225 acres of good land, the greater part of which is under cultivation and well stocked. His marriage with Margaret M. Johnson was solemnized January 2, 1851, and six children have been born to them, named James T., Nancy L. (deceased), Mary E., Daniel W., Stephen A. (deceased), and Angeline. In politics, Mr. Crockett is a Democrat and in 1880, as the candidate of his party for the office of County Commissioner, was elected, although having a Republican majority to overcome Again, in 1882, he was elected to this office by a largely increased majority, which reached 253 votes, and this, of itself, is sufficient indication of Mr. Crockett's standing among his neighbors and fellow-citizens.

Michael Deckard. druggist and distiller, was born in the yea-1832, in Monroe County, Incl., whither his parents had removed in 1818 He is one of two children born to Michael and Christena (Hellenburg) Deckard, and being the son of pioneers witnessed many hardships incident to pioneer life in which his parents were engaged. On attaining his majority, he embarked on life's voyage on his own responsibility, and since then has been engaged largely in mercantile pursuits. .His marriage. with Miss Catharine Hilton was solemnized in 1857, and in 1861 he became a private in the late war, serving through the battles of Resaca, Stone River and Kenesaw Mountain, and being finally discharged as Corporal at the end of three years. At the present writing (1883), he is located at Jonesboro (Hobbieville P. 0.), where he carries on the drug trade and manufactures about 2,000 gallons of pure peach and apple brandy yearly. Mr. Deckard is a thoroughgoing business man, a Democrat in politics, and the father of six children, only two - Blassie E. and Rosie E. - yet living.

Alexander Harden, a progressive and public-spirited citizen of his township, is a native of Monroe County, Ind., his birth occurring in the year 1837. He is a son of William and Elizabeth (Regains) Harden, who removed from Tennessee, where they were born, to Indiana- in 1834. Alexander passed his youth and early manhood in assisting his parents on the home farm, and on the 6th of September, 1861, volunteered his service in the cause of his country. He was a member of Company G, Thirty-first Indiana Volunteers, and at Pittsburg Landing, became disabled, which resulted in his discharge December 6, 1862. Since that time he has been employed in farming and prosecuting pension claims for disabled soldiers. By industry, he has secured a farm of 105k acres, while his success as a prosecutor of pension claims has procured him a large and constantly increasing patronage. Mr. Harden is a Republican in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity and a member the Methodist Episcopal Church. His marriage with Miss Mary E. Bennet was solemnized in 1863, and they are among the best of Greene County's citizens.

Capt. J. T. Oliphant, one of the prominent men of Greene County, is a native of Monroe County, Ind., born in the year 1833, a son of Lawson and Ruth (Pennington) Oliphant. His parents were born in North Carolina, but removed to Indiana in about 1826, where Mr. Oliphant died in 1882. His widow yet survives him, and resides on the old homestead near Hobbieville, at an advanced age. J. T. Oliphant was raised a farmer, beginning for himself when twenty-one years old. In 1862, he volunteered his services in his country's behalf, as a member of Company E, Ninety-seventh Volunteers. He was elected First Lieutenant by his company, and afterward promoted to its Captaincy, serving as such until severely wounded by a gunshot at Kenesaw Mountain. This effectually put an end to further military duties on his part, and resulted in his honorable discharge. He was an active participant in numerous hotly contested engagements, among which was the siege of Vicksburg In 1867, he was elected Recorder of Greene County, and after serving one term of four years, engaged in merchandising, which he continued until a recent date, since when he has turned his attention to farming and stock-dealing. Mr. Oliphant is a Republican in polities, a member of the Blue Lodge in Masonry, and owns a valuable farm of 465 acres. In 1854, he was united in wedlock with Miss Mary M. Alexander; and their union has been blessed with seven children, all but one yet living; their names are Elizabeth, Williamson L., Francis M., Dowell, Mary and Bertha. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Capt. A. F. Phillips was born in Monroe County, Ind., in 1831, and is the only son and survivor in a family of two children born to Joseph and Elizabeth (King) Phillips, natives respectively of Florida and Kentucky, who settled in the county where our subject was born in 1819. When five years old, A. F. Phillips was left fatherless, and when but a small lad he was cast upon the world to do for himself, consequently receiving only limited educational advantages. He was engaged in farming until enlistment as a private, August 15, 1862, in Company C, Ninety-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Shortly after entering the service, he was made Orderly Sergeant, then, by reason of his promptness in the discharge of duties, was promoted First Lieutenant April 20, 1864, and advanced to the Captaincy of his company July 4, 1864. Capt. Phillips was a fearless soldier, participating in the engagements of Jackson, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Knoxville, Resaca and finally in the campaign against Atlanta, where he was severely wounded from the effects of which he is yet a sufferer, and which procured him an honorable discharge from the service April 12, 1865. Since the .close of the war, Capt. Phillips has been engaged in farming and merchandising, but at present is living retired in the village of Cincinnati His marriage with Kate Fulk was solemnized in the year 1849, and the following named of their seven children are yet living?Jane, Martin, Joseph, John A. and Emma.

Joseph B. Vanmeter, a native Hoosier, was born in Greene County in 1852, and is the eldest of four children born to the union of Nathaniel and Catharine (Razor) Vanmeter, who were natives of Kentucky, removing to Indiana in about 1843. He was raised on a farm until sixteen years of age, when he began learning the blacksmith's trade, which was his occupation until 1883. In this year he embarked in the drag and grocery trade at Cincinnati, and although yet new in the business is rapidly acquiring a comfortable traffic. He is possessed of energy and determination, and these qualities, coupled with honesty and a desire to please, will undoubtedly make him one of the county's most reliable and successful men. Miss Agnes Martindale became his wife in the year 1874, and three of their five children are yet. living?Fleming, Nancy and Cary J. Mr. Vanmeter is a Democrat in politics; Mrs. Van-meter belongs to the Baptist Church.

Richard W. Yoho was born in the Buckeye State in the year 1854, and is a son of Samuel and Jane (Cain) Yoho. His mother dying the same year of his birth, Richard W. came with his father to the Hoosier State in 1866, which has since been his home. He aided his father on the farm during his youthful years, and when twenty years of age began for himself. For five years he pursued the avocation of a pedagogue, and the succeeding four years farmed and dealt in stock. Since 1879, he has been engaged in merchandising at Cincinnati, where he has built up a successful trade and where he carries a general line of goods amounting in value to about $3,500. By his honorable dealings and genial ways, Mr. Yoho has not only established a good trade but has gained numerous warm and steadfast friends. In politics, he is a Republican; was elected Justice of the Peace in 1880, and is also a Notary Public. In 1874, he married Miss Mary E. Carmichael, and their union has been blessed with three children: O. C., Gertie C. and Ada E.