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Biography of Henry C. Wise
Biography of Henry County, Indiana
COMPENDIUM OF BIOGRAPHY Of Henry County, Indiana B.F. Bowen 1920
Page 343, 344,
Surnames in this biography are: Wise, Bouch, Cooper, Dykes, Mills, Wisehart, Diefenbach,
HENRY C. WISE
Henry C. Wise, ex-educator and practical farmer and mechanic of Fall Creek Township, Henry County, Indiana, was born near Lewisville on Flat Rock creek, this County, June 3, 1855, and is a son of Peter and Matilda (Bouch) Wise, natives of Pennsylvania. They came to Indiana in 1853, first located near Cadiz, in Harrison Township, Henry County, but five years later went to Montgomery County, Indiana, and resided near Crawfordsville during the Civil War. In 1866 the family returned to XV. D Cooper's farm. Peter Wise was a farmer and for five years resided near Cadiz where his death occurred when he was seventy-five years old; he was survived by his widow about nine years, her death taking place at the present home of her son, Henry .C., when she was about eighty. These parents had a family of eight children, but two of whom live in Henry County, Henry C. and Peter, the latter residing at Lewisville. Henry C. Wise received a good common school education at New Castle and was also graduated from the Northern Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso. When twenty years old he began to teach during the winter seasons at Cadiz and followed the profession there and elsewhere four years until he was made principal of the Middletown school, which position he filled six years. In .the meantime Mr. Wise had remained on the homestead and had learned the carpenter's trade, which he has followed in all about fourteen years. He began contracting at Cadiz and later became a partner with James P. Dykes of Middletown. October 13, 1881, Mr. Wise married Miss Fannie Mills, a daughter of Luther Mills, of Delaware County, his home being located two and a half miles north west of Middletown, but who in the spring of 1882 came to town to reside permanently. Mr. Wise continued contracting until 1890, but in 1888 had purchased eighty acres of farmland for four thousand dollars, forty acres of which had been placed under cultivation, but upon which there were no buildings. Mr. Wise settled on the old place in 1889 and at once began making the necessary improvements to make the farm a profitable and comfortable one to live upon, clearing up the unimproved part, laying about two hundred rods of tiling and erecting modem and substantial buildings, his barn being 36x87 feet, with basement. He feeds stock chiefly and ships two to three carloads of cattle of his own feeding and about one hundred hogs per year. He also handles stock in company with Willis Wisehart, and employs two men during the busy season. Besides stock raising he grows corn and wheat and has in constant use three teams. In politics Mr. Wise is a Republican, but not a very active one. Fraternally, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Lodge No. 97, and encampment, having of course passed all the chairs in the former, and having represented it in the grand lodge. Mr. Wise is also a member of Montezuma Tribe No. 126, I. 0. R. M., at Middletown, Indiana, and is collector of straws of the Haymakers, Montezuma Hay Loft No. 126 1-2. Mrs. Wise is a member of the Rebekahs, as also is the daughter Effie. Mr. Wise is general superintendent of the Henry, Madison and Delaware Counties Fair Agricultural Society, appointed in 1902. This organization is one of the best agricultural bodies of central Indiana, and has been a signal success financially. In 1885 Mrs. Fannie (Mills) Wise was called away by death and January 5, 1888, Mr. Wise chose for his second helpmate Miss Susie Diefenbach, of Ohio, but who bad been a saleslady in Middletown for two years. By the first marriage there was born one child, Effie, now seventeen years old. She was a high school student in Middle Town, Indiana. To the second marriage have been born children as follows: Homer, who died in infancy, and Helen, now eleven years old, who is in the eighth grade having made two grades in one year, and a little daughter, Caroline Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Wise are members of the Christian church and socially they rank with the best and most popular residents of Fall Creek Township and town of Middletown.
From the Canton Daily Register, Canton, Fulton Co. IL APRIL 29, 1908 MR. and MRS. ELIAS SIMPSON (Note: Newspaper misprinted Mr. Simpson's name--should be Silas instead of Elias as printed.) Elias Simpson and his wife, who live on or near Big creek, northwest of Bryant, in Putman township, can not be classed with those brave and sturdy pioneers who came here in an early day and converted the forests into fruitful fields which are today being cultivated by their descendants and producing vast wealth. But they can be classed with those who have passed through many hardships and dangers; with those whose personal histories contain much of genearal interest. The early recollections of both Mr. and Mrs. Simpson are many indeed and their experiences in pioneer life in their native states--Indiana, and North Carolina--are thrilling and numerous. "No," said Mr. Simpson, "we do not belong to that advanced guard of civilization, those fearless men and women who came to Illinois in pioneer times and opened the road for those who came after them; but we know something of pioneer life and have been in Illinois for a long time. "I recall the time when I was a boy in Indiana, when whisky was considered an indispensable article of the household and the most desirable and profitable commodity for tavern-keepers. Then, as now, however, it was a source of no little trouble and many bruised heads. "I lived in a rude cabin covered with clapboards for several years after I moved on this place, and all around us was a heavy growth of timber. The points of timber and the valleys along Big creek must have been attractive resorts for the red man. "I was born and lived until I was eight or nine years old among the poplar and beech trees of Indiana. This township, including a good deal of timber land as it did, soon attracted a liberal share of immigration and was pretty well settled up when we came to the county. Cornbread, squashes and mush and milk constituted our principal diet, with a little pumpkin butter and New Orleans or sorghum molasses on the side. "I was born in Delaware County, Ind., March 13, 1852, and am the son of Henry and Lamira (Noah) Simpson, both natives of Indiana. The Simpson family is of English descent. My sister, who died in infancy, and myself were the only children of our family. This infant sister had two well-defined and pretty faces. She lived but a few days and I recall the fact that mother was besieged by doctors and showmen wanting to buy the body and have it preserved in alcohol. One man offered a thousand dollars for it. "My father and mother were divorced and mother's second marriage was to a man named John McCarty, who ran a water mill on the Salamona river in Indiana. In this stream I used to angle for bass and have landed some big ones. "I was born in a cabin and most of the settlers along the river lived in cabins when I was a boy. Stock ran at large and the woods wore full of rattlesnakes and copperheads, with quite a sprinkling of large game. "I came to Fulton county with my mother and stepfather in the spring of 1861. We landed at Copperas creek, came thence by team to Canton and finally located in St. David. We lived at and near St. David for three years, then moved to Bryant and lived there until I was married. "My mother is still living, although well along in years, and is a resident of Lewistown. "When I was about 12 years of age I dislocated my hip in a wrestling match with a boy named Murphy, at St. David, on the old John Williams place, and have been a cripple ever since. "I went to school at Bryant when Miss Annie Jordan was the principal and learned to read and write. I also learned to play the violin. This is the instrument I learned to play on, and it is a good one. "Oh, yes--I used to play for dances and for all kinds of entertainments and made enough money to get a start in life. For the first dance where I furnished the music, I got 20 cents; but later my price was invariable $5 and expenses, and I made money at it. "I have played for platform dances on Duck creek and the woods were full of fellows who were slightly inebriated and wanted to fight. Milo McCaskey gave us a good deal of trouble in those days. "I have been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for years and I once asked our minister what he would do if he was in my shoes--play the fiddle for dances, or let his family suffer for something to eat? 'Well,' he replied, 'I would never let my wife and children go to bed hungry.' The sweet strains of that old violin often sooth me and quiet my nerves, and I would not part with it. "I was married in Bryant in May, 1876, to Miss Cornelia Boone of Liverpool township. Elder William Kirkpatrick officiated at our wedding. We have been blessed with nine children, eight of whom are living, namely: Mrs. Nola McCombs, St.David; Chalmer Simpson, Cuba; Mrs. Minnie N. Shadock, at old Independance; Mrs. Minerva Laird, Buckheart township; Elmer, Ethel, Frank and Oscar Simpson, at home. "When we moved on this place we were poor, practically had nothing, but I made enough with the old fiddle to tide me over until I could raise a crop. "Yes, I was one of the contestants in that oldtime fiddling match at Canton not so many years ago. Beside byself I recall the fact that John Raker and Miss Madge Pollitt won prizes. "I remember the great temperance wave that struck this part of the country in 1877 and the whole county became awakened on the great question of temperance. The people were enthusiastic and were determined to crush the hydra-headed monster, but they did not do it. Yet the movement did a great deal of good. In this temperance work all minor differences and distinctions should be lost sight of and people of all classes should meet as brothers and sisters laboring in a common cause. But the fellow who becomes a temperance worker and then bobs up for office at the very first opportunity should be turned down. There is a class of office-seekers who try to ride into office on every reform wave that comes along. But while I am in favor of temperance in all things, I believe we have too many so-called reforms, too many now fads, too many cranks. "In the good old days almost everybody danced and the people were just as good then as they are now, were just as honest, and did not sell their souls for money. Sociability and true Christianity are closely allied and I don't know just where we are drifting. "I at first rented this place from Emanuel Feeser but it changed hands and I later bought it from Henry Hitchcock. There was only 15 acres cleared when we moved here and I lived in that cabin up there for 16 years. The rain and snow came in on us, but we did not freeze, and we raised a big family of healthy girls and boys. "Politically I am a Republican, and am a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and firmly believe that there are many old-fashioned, plain, common people in heaven--and fiddlers, too,--and I want to go ther when I die." "I was born, " said Mrs. Cornelia Simpson, "in Stanley county, N.C., Sept. 13, 1850 and am the daughter of Martin and Eliza Boone, both natives of North Carolina. My father was related to Daniel Boone, the noted pioneer hunter of Kentucky. "I am the oldest of a family of 11 children, seven of whom, besides myself, are living, namely: Lewis Boone, a resident of North Dakota; Mrs. Malinda Hagena in Colorado; Alex Boone, at Council Bluffs, Iowa; Brady Boone, at Neola, Iowa; Frank Boone, on a farm near Shelby, Iowa; Elmer Boone , in Montana; Mrs. Anna Haacke on a farm in Buckheart township. "I was about 14 years of age when my parents moved from North Carolina to east Tennessee, where we lived for four or five years, when we came to Illinois. "We lived in North Carolina during the war. Our house was back in the timber from the road. Father was in the Union army as a scout and guide and I remember when about 30 Confederate soldiers came to the house looking for him. He deserted from the rebel army and joined the Union forces and had they found him they would have shot or hanged him. "My uncle, who lived near us, slept under his barn floor for six months--in fact, lived there. The rebels often visited his place and searched for him but he got into the Union lines before they caught him. "My mother and Aunt Nellie Boone farmed our place for three years and I have worked many a day in the fields. Mother and aunt sowed and cradled wheat and helped to thresh it. The women operated and fed the old ground threshers, ran the water mills, etc. The women and old gray-headed men did all the farm work and got along pretty well, everything considered. "At first we had to give a tenth of everything we raised to the Confederate government, but later a fifth and finally a third. "One old man who ran a thresher had his three girls with him, and they all worked early and late. The women of the south, especially those whose husbands and sons were in the Union army, had a hard row to hoe. Women whose eyes were as bright and whose forms were as erect as in the days of their girlhood when the war broke out, were bent with care and work and troubled at its close, and their heads were covered over with the snow that never melts. Their last thoughts at night, as they wafted their prayers to the throne of God, asking him to care for their loved ones, and their first thoughts in the morning, were for their husbands and sons. Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters suffered in silence and God alone knows how much they suffered and what trials and dangers they passed through. "Oh, but I can never forget the old civil war days in the south, notwithstanding I was but a child. "We lived just five miles from the line between North and South Carolina and I often went on horseback to Bradaway's mill on the river between the two states. Sometimes I took my grist of corn to Meggs' mill, on the same stream. "There were no buggies in the south in those days and we all rode in wagons. "There were a good many slaves in Stanley county before the war and many of them did not know their own Master. They were put in charge of an overseer and worked in the fields from early morning until late at night. Their time was given to them from Saturday noon until sunrise Monday morning--and such times as they did have, singing, dancing, playing the banjo and the fiddle! "The poor people wore cotton or homespun clothing and often went to church barefooted. The women wore calico sunbonnets. "The poor white people in the south before the war enjoyed life better than did the slaveholders. The agitation of the slavery question and the growing sentiment against human bondage, not only in the north but all over the world, were thorns in the sides of the slaveowners. "A part of the troops raised in Stanley county were drilled in a big field near our house and we often saw large bodies of Confederatesoldiers pass and repass. It was their boast that they would soon whip the Yankee, it would only be 'a breakfast spell'--but the conflict proved to be one of the greatest in history and lasted till after dinner--in fact, till nearly supper time. Everything hinged upon the result of that war, but peace came and the nation was saved. "The happiest days of my life were spent in the old North Carolina and Tennessee homes, but our days during the war were not happy ones. Many times did I lean my arms on the window sill while mother was preparing the evening meal and look far into the dusky shadows that encircled the brow of night; but papa did not come. "Oh, we were never free from the tortures of anxiety about the absent ones, and we often went to bed with heavy hearts. Why should the slaveholders cause sorrow and death to overspread our fair land, and the voice of waiing go forth from every fireside? The hours were long and dark, but peace came at last--thank God!--and came to stay, so far as the north and south were concerned. "A few of the old slaveholders and their descendants will never be satisfied with the result. The people of the south--I mean the common people--were in antebellum days more sociable than the people of the north and would often congregate together and have a general good time. As things were then, I would rather live in the south than in the north. "There were many good people among the slaveholders, and there were some bad ones, too. "We practically abandoned our old homestead in North Carolina, because we could not sell it, and went to east Tennessee, about the time the war closed. The Union sentiment in east Tennessee was pretty strong and many Union refugees found a home there after Lee's and Johnston's surrender." Both Mr. and Mrs. Simpson possess many good personal qualities and are classed among our best citizens. Both are Methodists in religion and both are uncompromising Republicans and take considerable interest in all political matters.
As we all know, newspaper articles can sometimes contain incorrect information. Keep this in mind when reading this article.
The Canton Daily Register Newspaper article was typed exactly as the copy I recieved. There are some discrepencies such as Silas Simpson's parents being 'both natives of Indiana'. Henry Simpson was born in OH as was Lamira Noah/Noe. Also, Cornelia Boone Simpson mentioned that her father was related to Daniel Boone. So far, I have found a Daniel Boone in the ancestry, but not THE famous Daniel Boone. So far, I have only found German Boone's/Boon's/Bohn's and have been unable to find a connection with The famous Daniel Boone. I hope you find the article interesting and somewhat informative as to conditions during the civil war, etc. Jody