Grant Township Biographies
David Osborn Harrah, an early settler of Greene County, Ind., is descended from an old Irish family, who were amongst the first pioneers of the great Commonwealth of Virginia, which was the place of his own birth in 1807, and that of his father, Robert Harrah, in 1781. According to family tradition, the maternal grandparents of Mr. Harrah, in coming to America, experienced hardships and privations unparalleled. The party, consisting of the two parents and a small babe, took passage on board a sailing ship, which, on account of continuous and adverse storms, was driven from her course, and drifted about on unknown waters for weeks, during which time the supplies of the vessel had become exceedingly short, and all on board despaired of ever again seeing land. During this extremity, the husband gave his rations to his wife, while himself and babe derived nourishment from the wife and mother's breast. David 0. Harrah, when a small lad, removed with his parents to Kentucky, where he was reared upon his father's plantation, and derived the rudiments of his education from the neighboring schools. After living in Fleming and Montgomery Counties for a number of years they came to Greene County, Ind., in November, 1825, and entered a tract of land near the Harrah Chapel, which was named in honor of the family, and near where David 0. Harrah owns a well-improved farm. He was married in 1833 to Miss Rebecca Words, who died in 1875. Robert Harrah, father of our subject, was married in Virginia, July 8, 1806, to Elizabeth Baldwin, who was born in one of the New England States in the year 1777.
Thomas Grace, Trustee of Grant Township, was born in Washington County, Ind. in the year 1825, a son of Jesse and Catharine (Gilbrith) Grace, who were natives of North Carolina and Virginia respectively, and among the old and esteemed residents of Washington County. He was reared to manhood upon his father's farm, secured a common school education in youth, and in 1845 went to Jackson County, this State, where, in the year 1853, he was united in marriage with Miss Parmelia Yancey, a native of Jackson County, and a daughter of Andrew J. and Sallie (Critslow) Yancey, who were from the Old Dominion. The fall of 1860, Mr. Grace and family removed to Greene County, where they are well known and universally respected. Mr. Grace is, in every sense of the word, a self-made man. He began life's battle a poor boy, with nothing to depend upon but his own energy and ability, and he now owns a good farm of 560 acres, and for ten years has been honored with the office of Township Trustee, which position he has filled with entire satisfaction, and which he still holds. He is one of the prominent and progressive men of Greene County, is a genial companion, a neighborly neighbor, and a good husband and father. Himself and wife are parents of this family: Sarah C. (deceased), Albert H. (deceased), Casselda, Spencer, J. L., Daniel V., Lillie D., and one that died in infancy untamed.
Albert A. Hall, one of the well to-do men of Grant Township, was born in the year 1851 in Kentucky, and is the only issue to the union of Alexander and Elizabeth (Dowden) Hall, who were natives of Scotland and Kentucky respectively; the latter dying in 1867 and the former in 1872. Albert A. passed his youthful years in assisting his parents on the home farm, but at the age of fifteen he started out in the world to battle with the realities of life on his own responsibility. In 1872, he came to Indiana, and in 1878, together with Samuel Harden, he embarked at saw-milling, at which the firm of Hall & Harden are doing a profitable business. Besides owning valuable mill fixtures worth about $1,800, the firm possess eighty acres of land in Grant Township. Mr. Hall is one of the progressive and successful men of Greene County, is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and a Democrat in politics, as was also his father before him.
W. C. Hinebrook, farmer and stock-raiser, is a native of Germany, his birth occurring in the year 1837. His father, William Hinebrook, was also a native of Germany, born in 1801, and was married in his native country to Louisa Neal, by whom he became the father of the following named: T. W., Mary, Charles, W. C., Louisa, Lewis, John M., and Sarah J. When a small boy, W. C. together with his parents, emigrated to America, and coming to Indiana, found a home near Bloomfield, in Greene County, where they engaged in agricultural pursuits. Miss Sarah Beach, daughter of John Beach, became the wife of W. G. Hinebrook in 1867, and together they have lived happily where they now reside for a number of years, and are the parents of four children?John Newton, Louisa Ann, William Henry and David (deceased). In 1861, when rebellion was threatening to overthrow our Government, Mr. Hine-brook joined Company E, Fifty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was with his regiment through the battles of New Madrid, Spanish Fort, and numerous other engagements, and in 1861 was sent with a detachment to guard prisoners at Rock Island. He was honorably discharged in February, 1865, after which he returned home to Greene County, where he has since resided.
D. E. Humphreys, the only son of Hon. John Humphreys, who is a distinguished attorney of Sullivan and an ex-official of Greene County, is a native of the county where he yet resides, his birth occurring in the year 1856, He was married in 1876 to Miss Mary P., the second daughter of D. L. and Ann (Buck) Osborn, who were among the early settlers of Greene County, and by her is the father of three children?Bessie, Jennie Ann, and one as yet unnamed. Mr. Humphreys is one of the prominent young men of western Greene County, is a Democrat in politics, and a successful farmer and stock-raiser.
Peter Schultze, a native of Germany, was born near Moors in the year 1826. He was reared to manhood's estate in the land of his nativity, where he obtained a collegiate education, and afterward embarked in the manufacture and sale of goods With the tide of immigration that was fast draining Europe of its freedom-loving people, he drifted to the United States in 1848, and, escaping the ravages of cholera of that year, located in Greene County, Ind. where he purchased a large tract of land and engaged in agricultural pursuits. Since being a resident of this county he has endeavored to merit the honor conferred upon him as an American citizen by upholding the institutions of his adopted country, and supporting them to the best of his ability. He took an active part in the organization of the first fair of Greene County, of which he was he first assistant Secretary, and since 1872 has almost continually served in the capacity of Secretary. He selected Miss P. Barton for his wife in 1850, and to their union three children were born?Elizabeth C., Mary Ann and one that died in infancy. Mr. Schultze is one of Grant Township's best and most energetic citizens.
John S. Simons, deceased, was one of the early preachers of Greene County, Ind., where he. was born, raised and educated. He was the eldest son of Samuel end Cynthia (Price) Simons, the former being one of the early Commissioners of Greene County. John S. Simons early experienced Christianity, and during his ministerial labors accomplished much good. He volunteered his services for the preservation of the Union as a private in Company D, Fourteenth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, in May, 1861, and was mustered into service June 7 of the same year. For valuable services rendered he was promoted Second Lieutenant, then First Lieutenant, and finally to the Captaincy of the same company June 11, 1863. in 1861, he was engaged in the Western Virginia campaign. After this he participated in the battles of Winchester (first fight), Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and was mortally wounded at the battle of Spnttsylvania Court House in May, 1864, his death occurring on the 15th of May, 1864. He was in about fifty engagements, great and small, and his Colonel said of him that he was one of the most efficient and gallant Captains in battle he ever knew. To the marriage of John S. Simons and Mary A., daughter of William and Louisa (Neal) Hinebrook, was born and reared this family: Charles P., Sarah E., Samuel F., Lewis 141?, John N., James S., and two that died in infancy. The mother departed this life in 1876.
John Switz, SR., one of the prominent German residents of Switz City, was born at Hoch Emerich, Rhine, Kingdom of Prussia, Germany, in March, 1816, and is a son of John and Sibilla (Kueppers) Switz. He was liberally educated in the schools of his native country, and while a young man worked as a farm laborer, and at the weaver's trade. In February, 1846, he was married to Charlotte Bovenschen, who was born at Bergheim-on-the-Rhine, in August, 1819 and together they embarked at Antwerp, Belgium, in 1849, for the purpose of finding homes in the United States. They disembarked at New Orleans, La., from thence coming to Greene County, Ind., Mr. Switz purchasing a large tract of land in Grant and Fairplay Townships, which had been put upon the market as " canal land." This property is situated where he now resides on the present site of Switz City, which was surveyed and platted in 1870, and named in his honor. Mr. Switz is the owner of over 200 acres of good land, and in connection with farming keeps a first-class hotel. In politics he is Democratic, and is the father of three sons and one daughter, named John, Harmon, Henry and Mary.