Stockton Township Biographies

Alexander Beasley, a substantial farmer and stock-raiser, of Stockton Township, was born near Nashville, Tenn., in 1810, and is a eon of Ephraim Beasley, and grandson of Richard and Elizabeth (McGinnis) Beasley, who were natives of North Carolina and Virginia respectively. Ephraim Beasley was a pioneer of the Hoosier State, his first settlement being made in Harrison County, but later in Lawrence County. Alexander Beasley was the second born in the following-named. family: Richard, Alexander, Mary, Rebecca, Jesse, Daniel, Ephraim, William, John, Rachel and Elizabeth. He began the battle of life a poor boy, as did also his father before him. Was raised upon his father's farm to hard work, and in 1828 was united in marriage with Frances Fender, who was born in Ashe County, N. C., in May, 1811, the youngest child of Nimrod and Sarah (Sumers) Fender, who were natives of the Old Dominion. The children horn to their union are Ephraim. John. Solomon, Thomas, Isaac, Alexander, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary A., Cynthia J., Francis M. and Martha E. The mother, a lady in every respect, and an invalid for many years, died September 6, 1882, an honored member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Beasley is one of the county's substantial citizens; is an enterprising farmer, and a highly esteemed friend and neighbor.

George W. Ellis was born in Greene County, Ind., in 1841, and is the twelfth of the following family born to William and Martha (Robertson) Ellis, who were among the pioneers of this county: Elizabeth, James, Winnie, John, Margaret, Sarah, William, Joel, Robert, Martha, Mary. George W., Stephen, Lucy, Rebecca, Nancy and Rhoda. William Ellis, father of the subject of this sketch, was born October 14, 1803, in Tennessee; was married to Martha Robertson, who was born in Georgia, July 13, 1805, a daughter of Stephen and Winnie Robertson, and three years after his marriage emigrated to Brown County;- Ind. In about 1833, they settled in Greene County, where Mr. Ellis took a prominent part in public affairs, and where he died, September 20, 1878, preceded his wife ten years. George W. Ellis is one of the leading men of Stockton Township. He was raised on his father's farm, secured a fair education, and in 1860 was joined in marriage with Miss Mary J., daughter of George B. and Margaret (Rector) Denton, who were early settlers in Greene County from Virginia, also early settlers of Jasper County, Lid., and to their marriage have been born this family: John W., Nancy E., Sarah M., Martha, Mollie (3., George T., Joseph R., Andy M., May, Daisy V. and Winnie B. Mrs. Ellis is one of the following family, and the parents reside in Kansas: Mary J., John W., Thomas J., Joseph A., Charity E., Charles W., Margaret A., Alice C., Christina F. and Statira.

Hon. Andrew Humphreys, who for so many years has been the most prominent politician in Greene County, and the confessed leader of the local Democracy was born in Anderson County, Tenn., on the 20th of March, 1821. His parents early moved to Putnam County, Ind., where he was reared to manhood, receiving but a limited education at the district schools. In 1840, his marriage with Miss Eliza Johnson, daughter of Jonah Johnsoft, of Ohio, occurred, and two years later he moved to Greene County, where his parents had preceded him, and where they lived until their respective deaths?the mother in 1861, and the father in 1863. Upon his arrival in the new county, Mr. Humphreys commenced working at his trade?blacksmithing?but a year later took his first step in the long political career which has given him a State and even National reputation. He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1843, and re-elected in 1846, serving until 1849. He had scarcely reached the county ere he began the study of law, and the perusal of the works of the hest minds of past centuries, for he was aspiring, energetic, self-poised and confident, and felt that he had abilities for greater fields of usefulness than his shop afforded. In the time from 1842 to 1849, his experience of men and parties ripened, his mind expanded under rigid self-instruction, and he was fully fitted for his illustrious political career. In 1849, he was nominated for the Legislature by the Democracy against Marcus H. Shryer, the most prominent Whig at that time in the county and to the surprise of many was elected' by 130 majority. He was renominated in 1850 against Edward Beasley, and again carried the election by 129 majority. In 1851, he defeated R. H. Rousseau, a very popular, able and brilliant man, by 190 majority. In 1852, he defeated Major Livingston for the State Senate by thirty-eight majority. In 1854, he was elected Representative over Mr. Throop by 600 majority, and in 1856 defeated Edward Beasley for the same position by a majority of 32. In 1859, President Buchanan appointed him Indian Agent of the Territory of Utah, which position he held with the highest credit until September, 1861, when he resigned. During a portion of this time, he was Assistant United States Marshal of Utah Territory, which he resigned in June, 1860. In 1867, he suffered his first and last defeat. He was candidate for the Legislature, but was defeated by Thomas R. Mason by ninety votes. The majority against the remainder of the ticket was in the hundreds. In 1864, he retired Mr. Mason for the State Senate in the ? district composed of the counties of Greene and Daviess by 562 votes. His majority in his own county was 351. In 1876, he resigned his seat in the Senate and was elected to Congress to fill the unexpired term of Gov. Williams. He was nominated in 1878 for Senator against his protest, and defeated J. R. Baxter by fifty-four majority, and at this session was made Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, a merited acknowledgment of his leadership in the House.

Wilson Humphrey, a native of Gallia County, Ohio, was born December 13, 1818 At the age of six years, he removed with his parents to Monroe County, Ind. and from there to Greene County on the White River, and finally to where he now resides in 1831. In 1860, he was united in marriage with Miss Sophia Turner who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 183'7, a daughter of William and Martha (King) Turner who were natives respectively, of Pennsylvania and Ireland. The children born to this union are William F., George E., Wilson T., Dora A., Clement V., T. M., Charles E. and Annie V. Mr Humphrey is not only one one of the well known and highly esteemed of the old settlers of Greene County, but is also one of the well-to-do men of Stockton Too: ship. In 1863 and 1865, he was elected Township Trustee, and in 1871 and 1880 he was elected one of the County Commissioners. His father William Humphrey, was born in Henry County, W. Va., in 1784, and _died January 14, 1854. He removed to Ohio when but a lad, and was there married to Clarissa Lotz, who was born in 1787, and died in the year 1872. The children born to William Humphrey and wife were Sarah, Madison, Wilson, Ansel, Jared, Annie and Margaret. The mother of 3irs. Clarissa Humphrey was a sister of Hon. Clement L. Vallandigham, an eminent lawyer, statesman and editor of Ohio, whose history is familiar to all well posted citizens of the United States.

Rev. Laban Moss, son of Rev. Aquilla Moss, appropriate mention of whom is made in the biography of William G. Moss, is a native of the county in which he still resides, his birth occurring irr 1830. He was reared and educated in his native county, his early advantages being only such as the pioneer times of that early day afforded. When a young man he employed many lof his spare hours in hunting and in time he became quite celebrated in the skillful use of the gun. It is claimed that he has killed more deer than any man in Stockton Township and at one time he performed the rare act of killing two deer at one shot. September 2, 1850, his marriage with Miss. Rhoda Rector was solemized, and the same fall of this event he located on his present place, where he owns an excellent farm of 290 acres, on which is one of the best orchards in Greene County. To him and wife this family of children have been born: Sarah E., Aquilla (deceased), William a, Mary J., Joseph M., Brunette, Delilah J., Keziah P., Laban J. and Allen J. The mother was born September 27, 1832, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (McBride) Rector, who were among the pioneers of Lawrence County, Ind., but now residents of Sullivan County. Mr. Moss is one of Stockton Township's best citizens. He has the respect and esteem of his friends and neighbors and considers with pride the fact that he has never been sued in his life and never had occasion to sue but one man.

William G. Moss, Sr., was born November 19, 1822, in Washington County, Ind. and is the fourth son in a family of fourteen children born to Aquilla and Sarah (Harrah) Moss, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Kentucky. Aquilla Moss was bound out to a wheelwright by the name of William Dunlap when but a small lad, and by Mr. Dunlap he was raised to manhood, and with him he came to Kentucky- when that State was yet in its infancy. He married in that State, and shortly after that event moved to Warren County, Ohio, where he lived about six years, and where his three oldest sons were born. From there he moved to the Hoosier State, locating first in Washington County, where three more children were added to their family. In 1827, he removed to Greene County and settled on "Nine Mile Prairie" in Stockton Township where he passed the greater part of his remaining years. In 1822, while in Washington County, he experienced Christianity, and shortly afterward was licensed to preach in the interests of the Regular Baptist Church. He became known over the entire community as one of the pioneer preachers of. Southern Indiana and very likely, during his lifetime, he married the majority of couples in Greene and neighboring counties. His wife who was one of those true backwoods housewives, and who bravely aided her husband in such duties as were common at that early day, died in 1858, and in 1864 Mr. Moss died. Both are sleeping side by side in the family burying ground on the old homestead. William G. Moss was raised largely in Greene County, and it has been his home mostly through life. His schooling was limited to three months during the year by walking three miles through the snow to the old-fashioned log schoolhouse, with stick and. mud chimney, puncheon for seat and a great big fire-place and greased paper for windows. In 1841, he was united in marriage with Jeannette Rector, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (McBride) Rector, who were natives respectively of Virginia and North Carolina, and came to Greene County_ in 1841. Previous to 1856, he filled various local political positions, but in that year he was elected Sheriff of Greene County, re-elected in 1858, and in 1860' was elected to represent his county in the Lower Branch of the State Legislature. He served in the regular and special session of that term, but in 1864 was elected the third time as County Sheriff. Mr. Moss has always followed farming, but in conjunction with this has been engaged in other labors. He and wife have had born to them a family of ten children, as follows: Joseph, Sarah M., Nathaniel (deceased), Stephen, Barney S., Rebecca A., Andrew M. (deceased),' Charles M. (deceased), Mary E. and Julia R. The mother was born March 3, 1824, in Lawrence County, Ind. Mr. Moss is an old-time honored Democrat in politics, is a member of the Blue Lodge in Masonry, and Mrs. Moss belongs to the Regular Baptist Church. The name Moss came from Scotland originally, but that was previous to the Revolutionary war.

David L. Osborn, a native of the township and county where he yet resides, was born in the year 1830, and is .one in the following family born to William H. and Rhoda Osborn, who were among the earliest of Greene County's pioneers: Amanda J., Elizabeth, David L., Ira M., Mary R., Wines W., Typhenia, John M. and two that died in infancy. William H. Osborn was born in Greenbrier County, 'Va., where he was left fatherless when a small boy. About the year 1812, he accompanied his mother to Kentucky, traveling the entire distance on horseback. In 1819, the family removed to Monroe County, Ind., and afterward to Owen County. A few years later, the family settled on " Nine 1VIile Prairie," in Greene County, which at that time was a very early period in the history of that locality. He became quite widely known as one of the early farmers and merchants of Stockton Township, and was honored and esteemed for the honorable and upright life he lived. David L. Osborn, subject of this memoir, was the fii ,t Township Trustee under the present system of management, and is the present incumbent of that office in Stockton Township. In October. 1851, he was united in marriage with Miss Esther Ann, daughter of William Buck, who was a native of ,England. Mrs. Osborn was born near Amboy, N. Y., in 1832, and by Mr. Osborn is the mother of this family: Alice D. (now Mrs. W. F. Cornelius), Ira M., Mary P. (now Mrs. D. E. Humphrey), Hannah E. and William S.

Dr. B. A. Rose, of Linton, was born in Brown County, Ind. , in the year 1849 and is a son of Capt. E. E. Rose, a prominent attorney of Bloomfield, appropriate mention of whom is made elsewhere in this volume. He remained in his native county until ten years old, when he came to Bloomfield with his parents, and began working on the mechanical part, of the Times, of which his father was editor. After attending the pub- lic schools of Bloomfield, he entered Asbury University, completed the Freshman course, and from 1869 until 1872, read medicine in the office or Dr. Cravens, a distinguished physician of Bloomfield. In the latter year, he embarked in the practice of his profession at Lyons, this col,l.n- ty, and in 1875, graduated ,with honors from the University of Lows" We. In 1878, he located at Linton, where by his success in his profession, he has acquired a large and lucrative practice.Dr. Rose wasjoined in marriage,1876, with Eva J., daughter of Dr. J G. Arnold,of Lyons, and by her is the father of one son?Claude.

Dr. E. T. Sherwood, Linton, was born August 1, 1859, in Greene County, Ind., where he was educated in the common schools until twenty-one years of age, when he began reading medicine under Dr. B. A. Rose. In 1880, he entered Missouri Medical College, from which institution he graduated in 1882, shortly after this locating in Linton for the practice of his profession. As a young physician, Dr. Sherwood has been very successful, and being a careful student and a close observer, he will undoubtedly obtain a. high rank in his profession. In 1882, he was United in marriage with Miss Hattie E. Price, daughter of L. M. Price, of Stockton Township. Dr. William F. Sherwood, father of the subject of this sketch, was one of the oldest and most successful physicians in Greene County. He was born April 13, 1824, in Washington County, Ind., the third child of Daniel and Delilah (Copeland) Sherwood, who were natives of North Carolina and Kentucky respectively. He was married, November 24, 1853, to Catharine Ingersoll, daughter of Peter and Typhena Ingersoll, by whom he became the father of this family: Charles, Benjamin, Elmer, John, Harry, William and Typhena, the latter dying March 16 1873. The Copeland family settled in Washington County, Ind., on the night preceding the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

David Shields, one of the successful and thoroughgoing farmers of Stockton Township, is a native of Lawrence County, Ind., his birth occurring in the year 1831. He was reared and educated in his native county, and there was united in marriage with Miss Ellen Box, who was also born in Lawrence County in 1838, a daughter of William and Jennie Box, and one of the following-named children: Mary, Thomas, Joseph, Ellen and Fannie. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Shields have been born this family: Arista R., Marshall B. (deceased), Thomas, Isis M. (deceased), John B., Ida May, Jennie V. and Dollie E. Mr. Shields moved to Stockton Township, this county, in 1855, and settled upon the old Pool place, where he yet resides, the owner of one of the best farms in the county. His father, Jacob Shields, was a native of Green County, Ky., born in 1799, of Irish and German descent. He came to Lawrence County, Ind., when a young man, entered land in Pleasant Township, and was there married to Jane Williams, who was born in North Carolina in 1804, and who is still living. She was a daughter of Vinson and Sallie (Carter) Williams, who were among the early pioneers of Lawrence County, this State. By Jacob Shields, she became the mother of five children as follows: John, Vinson, Harvey, David and Sarah A. Mr. Shields died in Lawrence County in 1874, an honored and esteemed citizen.

James Story, one of the most successful farmers of Stockton Township, is a native of Fleming County, Ky., where he was born in the year 1826. When six years old, he came with his parents, Lewis and Annie (McGhea) Story, to Greene County, Ind., where the former died the spring of 1870, preceded by the latter in 1862. They were natives respectively of Virginia and Pennsylvania, of Irish descent, and parents of these children: Mary, Matilda Sarah, George W., Elizabeth, Ruth Ann, James, Amanda, Margaret J., Martha, Elijah, Oliver, Lewis, John, Rebecca and William. James Story and Charlotte C., third child of Rev. Martin and Phoebe (Hinkle) Hail, were married, Mrs. Story being a member of the following family of children: Florence, Clara, Lucretia, Stephen, Marion, John, Phebe, Martin W. and Mary S. Rev. Martin Hail, father of Mrs. Story, is one of the oldest living settlers of Stockton Township. He was born in Virginia in 1799, and when twenty-one years of age came to Greene County, Ind. In 1826, he was united in marriage with Miss Phoebe Hinkle, daughter of Nathan and Rebecca Hinkle, who were among the early pioneers of Washington County, Ind. Mr. Hail was an early Baptist preacher of this locality, and his father, Richard Hail, came from Virginia to Greene County in 1824, where he died in 1836. James Story, subject of this sketch, is a member of the Methodist EpisCopal Church, owns a fine farm of 253 acres, and he and wife are parents of this family: Rebecca E., Wesley M., Charlotte C.; Margaret, Lovicey, Martha T., John T., Araminta A. and Hiram H.

Dr. J. Terhune. Among the early settlers of Greene County, Ind., was David Terhune, who was born March 24, 1818, in Fleming County, Ky., where he was reared to manhood. In 1844, he came to this. county, whither his parents had preceded him the year before, and located in Wright Township where he purchased forty acres of land of Milton Moss, erected a cabin and the next year married Sallie Neals. This lady was also a native of Kentucky, born in 1820. Her parents removed to Illinois at an early day, where they both died in 1832, of cholera, leaving her to be reared by an. uncle. Mr. Terhune began life in Greene County, a comparatively poor man, but from the beginning he was remarkably successful in the acquisition of this world's goods. He at one time owned about 400 acres of choice land, besides having given each of his children a start of $1,300. He was Ian honored and esteemed citizen, and died March 3, 1880, preceded by his wife in 1868, and both are buried in the family burying ground on Nine Mile Prairie. Their children are Dr. J. ; Thomas J., Judge of the Nineteenth Judicial District of Indiana; Mary J., deceased; Nancy A.., deceased; James, a resident of Smith Township; Margaret, deceased; W. D., a resident of Kan sas; and J. B., a resident of Indiana. Dr. J. Terhune was born it Greene County, Ind., in 1846; was educated at Newberry and Asbury Universities, and for twelve years was a public school teacher. He owns two good farms in Stockton Township. and is largely interested in stock-raising. His marriage with Miss Maggie A. daughter of Isaac and Pattie (Harbutt) Mull, of Kentucky, was solemnized in 1871.

J. W. Wolford, merchant and farmer, has been identified with the history of Greene County since 1859. He was born November 20, 1837, in Coshocton County Ohio, where he was raised to manhood until twenty years old, when he came to Indiana, and for two years was a resident of Martin County. He then came to Greene County and located at Linton, where for a time he worked as a journeyman wheelwright, but afterward conducted the business on his own responsibility until 1865, when he went to Carbondale, Ind., and began farming and carpentering. In 1875, he began merchandising at Linton, where he owns a good store, and near which he owns a well-stocked farm. On first coming to Greene County, he was a poor boy, 50 cents being the' sum' total of his cash account. By industry and good management, he has secured a comfortable income and established a reputation as an honorable, upright citizen. In May, 1860, he was united in marriage with Miss Martha E. Lund, a daughter of Thomas Lund (deceased), who was a native of England and of the early pioneers of Stockton Township. Four sons and two - daughters have blessed their union, named Edwin L., Thomas L., William F., David Elmer,. C. A. and Laura J. Mr. Wolford's father was ,- John Wolford, of Pennsylvania, and his mother was Nancy Ann Musgrove, of Virginia. They came to Greene County, Ind., in 1859, where they died in 1876 and 1875 respectively.

J. N. Yakey, senior member of the mercantile firm of Yakey & Law, Linton, was born in 1844 in Guernsey County, Ohio, where he was reared and educated, and which he continued making his home until twenty-four years of age. July 14, 1862, he tendered his services to his State as a private soldier in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, then organizing at Zanesville. Although but a lad at the time of his enlistment, he was appointed First Sergeant, and owing to a faithful discharge of the duties assigned him, was promoted to the Second Lieutenancy of Company E, of the same regiment, and thus assigned, first to the Third Army Corps, but subsequently to the Sixth Corps, under Gen. Sedgwick. He never wavered in the immediate discharge of such duties as devolved upon him, and throughout his military career was a brave officer and an efficient soldier. He was an active participant in the battles of Monocacy Junction, Thoroughfare Gap, Brandy Station, Mine Run, Bristow Station, Centerville, Fisher's Hill, Petersburg and the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox_ At the battle of the Wilderness, he received a severe wound, and was captured by the enemy; being wounded, he was not guarded very carefully, and taking advantage of this fact he and four comrades made their escape, and, after innumerable hardships, reached the Union lines and became the heroes of the hour. Mr. Yakev is one of the well-to-do men of Stockton Township. In 1867, Miss Carrie Johnson became his wife, and to them have been born Cora R., William J., Lora 0. and Ella.