Biographies

Lawrence Adams

Lawrence Adams was a native of Ireland and was born April 22, 1804. His parents, John and Annie Byron Adams, were also natives of Ireland. His father came to America in 1820, but returned to Ireland five years later where he died in 1830. The mother died in 1812 at her native place. Lawrence is the youngest in a family of fifteen children and came with his father to America when sixteen years of age and began learning blacksmithing in Strasburg, PA. After staying there for ten years he came to Spencer where he worked at his trade and ran a small confectionery for six years, after which time he returned to Pennsylvania. In 1837 he was married to Mary Blair, a native of Ireland. By this union there was one child Maria, who died in July 1841. The mother died January 4, 1882. After his marriage he returned to Spencer and worked at his trade for many years and also ran a confectionery. After retirement he lived with his adopted son Solomon Fouts, an energetic carpenter of Spencer. Mr Adams has reared and educated five orphan children which fact plainly shows that he is possessed of rare goodness and kindness of heart. He was a consistent and active member of the Presbyterian Church.

Source: Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, 1884. Edited by Charles Blanchard

Mary Eileen Ahern

Mary Eileen Ahern, a State Librarian of Indiana, was a lady thoroughly equipped by intimate knowledge of books for the care of the library. To the requisites of ability she added those of temperament and all patrons of the library will agree in acknowledging her painstaking and uniform consideration and courtesy in rendering assistance to those pursuing any particular branch of inquiry. This lady removed with her parents to Spencer in 1870 and there she attended the public schools, graduating from High School in May 1878. In October 1878, when but seventeen years of age, she was teaching school at Bloomfield and was thus engaged for two years, meeting with success in that capacity. Returning to Spencer she taught in the high schools of city for four years and in the fall of 1884 she removed to Pern, IN, where she made her home until the spring of 1889. On the 1st of April of that year she became assistant librarian and on January 23, 1893 she was elected by the Legislature as State librarian which role she filled in a very able manner. Possessed of rare culture and attainments, Ahern discharges her duties with highly commendable zeal and ability. Of the three born to her parents Miss Ahern is second in order of birth. Her parents were of Ireland; her mother was an O'Neill of County Clare, a very noted family of that county, and she was a lady possessed of great force of character and remarkable ability. She died when Miss Ahern was but twelve years of age. The father Ahern was a native of County Cork, and like many of his native countrymen his dream was for liberty and the right to cope with his fellow men. As a consequence, he emigrated to the United States in 1852 and two years later came to Indianapolis where he was married. He was later a resident of Spencer and is a man possessed of many qualities of mind and heart. The children born to this estimable couple are named as follows: Johanna, wife of W. S. Johnson, county clerk of Owen County; Mary E., and James. Mary was a delegate to the National Library Association, held at San Francisco in 1891, and was secretary of the library section of the National Library Association. She was the founder and secretary of the Library of Indiana of, and was secretary of the high school section of the State Teachers Association for two years.

Source: Goodspeed Brothers, 1893. "Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, IN"

John W. Allison

John W. Allison was born in Martinsville, IN on March 8, 1825. His parents Noah and Mary (or Polly) T. (Boswell) Allison, natives respectively of Maryland and Kentucky, came from Kentucky to Monroe County, IN where they settled on a farm which they cultivated a few years, and then commenced merchandising in Martinsville for a few years, and from thence removed to Spencer where the father died in 1878, the mother having been dead many years. Our subject is the eldest child in a very large family. He was reared in Owen County and acquired a good common school education in Spencer after which he attended the Asbury University (now DePauw) at Greencastle for some time. Upon his return to Spencer he went into the mercantile business and continued in this until 1863, when he removed to his farm near this town, being in ill health, and remained there until his death. In February 1858 he was married to Mary L. Patrick, daughter of Ebenezer Patrick, one of the oldest ministers in Owen County. They had four children: Orrie, Carl, Minota, and Tudella. The two eldest are now engaged in the grocery business in the same old stand where their father was so successful. Mr Allison was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for years. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternity. He died in Owen County, January 7, 1868.

Source: Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, 1884. Edited by Charles Blanchard

Benjamin E. Allison

Benjamin E. Allison, was a farmer and a native of Owen County. He was born in Spencer August 5, 1837. His parents Noah and Mary (or Polly) T. (Boswell) Allison, natives of Maryland and Kentucky respectively, came to Indiana in 1817 and located in Monroe County where they lived on a farm for a few years, afterward engaging in the general merchandise business in Martinsville. Thence in a short time removing to Spencer, where in 1878 the father died, the mother having been dead many years. Benjamin was next to the youngest in a family of thirteen children and being reared in Spencer he received a good education in the town schools. In 1856 he began farming for himself. He was Road Supervisor for several years in Washington Township, School Director for fifteen years, and Township Assessor for at least two terms. In 1858 he was married to Mary J. Browning, daughter of David Browning, ex Clerk of Monroe County. By this union there were three children: Harriet C. (deceased), Mary J. and David B. His wife died in 1868, and in 1872 he married Helen C. Vanmeter of Franklin County, IN. They have two children: George E. and Lawrence. Mr Allison was a member of the K. of H., of the K. and L. of H., and assisted in organizing the Grand Lodge of Indiana. He was a member of the Methodist Church and farmed 359 acres of the best land in Owen County.

Source: Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, 1884. Edited by Charles Blanchard

Michael Beem

Michael Beem was born in North Carolina December 21, 1785, to Daniel and Mary Beem. He came to the east fork of White river with his father in 1810, where he continued to reside to the close of his life. During the Indian hostilities he served in the Indiana militia and was one of the twenty-nine men with General Tipton, who had the fight with the Indians at Tipton's Island in 1813. He was never married. I know but little concerning his life. When I was a small boy he visited my father and remained with us some time. I remember him as a morose, silent man, never telling anything concerning himself. He evidently had not made a success of life, and as I remember withdrew himself largely from the gaze of men. Whatever bitter experiences, whatever disappointments and shattered hopes he may have had were securely sheltered in the dark recesses of his own soul. He died in Jackson County about the year 1848.

Source: David E. Beem, 1917. "Daniel Beem and his descendants"

Neely Beem

Neely, second child of Daniel and Mary Beem, was born in North Carolina February 13, 1788. He accompanied his parents from North Carolina to Kentucky, thence to the east fork of White river, where he doubtless participated in the exciting experiences of those days, but I do not now recall any incidents related of him while in Jackson County. He was married to Leah Storm. On the 25th day of March, 1817, Neely Beem, his wife and infant child and Levi Beem, then a boy fourteen years old, joined Enoch Beem and Abraham Henderson in the occupancy of the land on the west fork of White river which had been entered in September before, and began the making of a home for the family. Leah Beem was the first woman settler within the present limits of the town of Spencer. It has often been related how Leah Beem, on the first evening of their arrival here, having put her baby girl to sleep on a pallet near their camp fire, was startled by seeing a large snake, which had been warmed into activity by the fire, crawling out of a hollow log in the direction of her sleeping child. Neely Beem was a live, energetic man, and his activities in affairs appear in the early records of the county. He served as constable and deputy sheriff. He finally settled on land entered in Montgomery Township, but later moved to Spencer, where he died August 15, 1832. Children of Neely Beem and Leah Storm Beem: Lucinda, married first William McNeal, second William McCraw; Cynthia Ann, married to David Mull; Richard Neely, married first Celia Franklin. September 23, 1848; second, Permelia Owen; John Storm, married to Louisa Hartman; Mary (Polly), married to John S. Young; Elizabeth A., married to William Pedigo; William P., married to Louisa Wilson.

Source: David E. Beem, 1917. "Daniel Beem and his descendants"

Frank M. Dunkin

Dunkin, a farmer and stock raiser, was the seventh of ten children and was born January 17, 1843, in Taylor Township. His father moved with him on a farm in Putnam County when Frank M. was but three years of age, and when he was fifteen years old they moved to Greencastle where he attended Asbury (now Depauw) University for three years, when at the beginning of the rebellion he enlisted to help support his country. He was placed in Company E, 33rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Col. John Coburn. He participated in the battles of Wild Cat, KY, Thompson's Station, TN, and he was wounded and captured at the latter place. He was carried to Libby Prison and detained for eleven days when he was exchanged. He was then detailed as Chief Orderly on Gen. Baird's staff, afterward being transferred to Gen. Steadman. Then he took part in the battle of Chickamauga where he was again wounded and was relieved from duty for a time. In 1864, he returned to his regiment. After the re-enlistment of the regiment he was sent to Gen Rousseau's staff as Orderly and was finally discharged at Atlanta, September 1864. He was married in 1865 to Hattie Eckels, who died February 1, 1867. She was a daughter of Delana and Louisa K (Elliott) Eckels. By this union there was one child, Linnie E. Mr Dunkin was next married to Nancy E Asher, daughter of Allen and Sarah (Allen) Asher, on December 28, 1869. They have had three children born to them: Elmer, Evert, and Hattie. Mr Dunkin was a member of the Masonic fraternity and his wife was a communicant in the Missionary Baptist Church. They are very liberal and are always ready to give to the needy. Mr. Dunkin paid much attention to teaching, in all having taught seventeen years. He was in consequence considered one of the best. He was very popular, having held the office of Justice of the Peace in the township. In politics he was a Democrat.

Jeremiah N. Pritchett

Pritchett, a salesman at Cataract, was born December 10, 1848 in Floyd County and was the eldest child of Enoch W. and Susan D. (Owen) Pritchett; the former a native of North Carolina; the latter of Indiana, and respectively of Welsh and Irish extraction. Jeremiah was brought up in New Albany, IN; was prepared for a teacher and has taught successfully eleven terms of school. Before coming to Owen County in 1874 he resided in Washington, Monroe, and Morgan Counties. He was engaged in mercantile business until the fall of 1883 with a branch store at Santa Fe. June 29, 1873 he wedded Miss Alice L Kendall of Putnam County, which marriage has afforded four children: Enoch W., John W., Bunietta, and Charles H. Mr Pritchett was a very energetic business man, an active, earnest Democrat, and a liberal genial and respected citizen. He and wife were members of the Baptist Church.

Source: Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, 1884. Edited by Charles Blanchard