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Riley Township
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DAVID S. PICKENS, farmer, Riley, was born in Orange county, Indiana, February 15, 1824. His father, James PICKENS, of South Carolina, was born September 7, 1787, and was married to Frances COWHERD June 15, 1820. She was born in Madison county, Virginia, November 6, 1791. They came to Vigo county in 1827, and located on the farm where their son, D.S. PICKENS, now lives. Here they resided until the death of James PICKENS, who died July 15, 1840. Mr. PICKENS mother is still living with him, and is probably the oldest person now living in Vigo county. When Mr. PICKENS father came to the county he entered eighty acres of land which has been owned by him ever since. August 17, 1847, Mr. PICKENS married Clarissa PRICE, a native of Indiana, born December 5, 1827. Her parents came to this county in about 1834 or 1835. Her father's name was John PRICE, and her mother's was Lenia CHAPMAN. Mr. PICKENS owns 314 acres of fine improved land, of which he has helped to make the most. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Riley Lodge, No. 390. He is the father of seven children living and four dead. The living are, Owen L., Jasper, Lucinda, wife of E. KING; Demeris A., Rachel, Mary L., and Frances E.; the names of the deceased are John F., Sophia J., Thomas C. and Newton.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 413-414


J.M. PICKENS, farmer, Riley, was born in Riley township, Vigo county, Indiana, March 13, 1832, and has been a resident of the county all his life. He has been twice married. His former wife was Miss Eliza ARNOLD, and they were married in 1862; she died soon after their marriage. His second marriage was to Mary E. WILLIAMS, in 1867. Her people came to the county in an early day. Mr. PICKENS is the owner of as fine an improved farm as there is in Riley township, which has been the result of his own labor, as he took it when it was in a wild state. He is a member of the Riley Masonic Lodge, No. 390. Mr. PICKENS was drafted in the late rebellion, and served in Co. E, 57th Ind. Vols., and participated in the battles of Franklin and Nashville.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 418


C.A. RAY, farmer, Riley, is the son of John RAY, who came to Vigo county as early as 1818, where the subject of this sketch was born in 1839. The RAY family have been residents of Riley township all their lives, and have done much to improve and build up all local enterprises in Riley township. They are respected by all who know them. Mr. RAY was married in 1864, to Mary E. DODD, of Ohio, and by this union they have eight children, seven sons and one daughter: Della, William, Thomas C., Ray, Theodore, Frank, Cecil A. and Wickliff.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 419


JOHN RAY, farmer, Riley, one of the old and respected citizens of Riley township, was born in Butler county, Ohio, July 30, 1811. His father, William, was a native of Kentucky, and came to Ohio in about 1810, and in 1818 he, his father, two brothers, John and Isaac M., one sister, Elizabeth, and his mother, came to Vigo county on horseback, and settled in Riley township, then a wild wilderness inhabited by the red men of the forest, whom Mr. RAY can well remember seeing. The RAY family first settled on Sec. 19, in this township, where they entered eighty acres of land, where they built a log cabin, and soon began making improvements for their future home. Their neighbors were not as numerous as they are at this time, there being but seven families in the township at that time. Mr. RAY's grandfather was an officer seven years in the revolutionary war, and his father served in the war of 1812, and was the first justice of the peace in Riley township. In 1835 Mr. RAY joined the Methodist Episcopal church, and by his every-day walk in life has proved the consistency of his faith. In 1834 Mr. RAY married Miss REBECCA CRUM, a native of Hamilton county, Ohio, born in 1812. Her parents came to Wayne county, Indiana, in 1817, and came to Vigo county in 1833. Mrs. RAY has been a kind mother and faithful wife, and has taken part in all the interests of the family. She joined the Methodist Episcopal church in 1835 with her husband, and they have walked hand in hand in their religious faith. She is the mother of nine children, four (sic) living: Centenary A., Demeris A., wife of H. JACKSON; William R., Sarah R. and Hamilton. The names of the deceased are Isaac N., Theodore, John E. and Americus M.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 410-411


W.R. RAY, farmer and dealer in stock, Riley, was born in Vigo county, Indiana, December 25, 1835, and is the son of John RAY, who came to this county as early as 1818, and whose sketch will be found in the pages of this history. Mr. RAY has been a resident of Riley township, where he has been engaged in farming and stock raising, and by strict attention to business he has been successful. In 1858 he was married to Hester LEE, daughter of Dr. LEE, who was one of the prominent early settlers of Riley township. She was born in Vigo county, February 23, 1836. They have five children: John H., M.S., Charley, Daisy and Annie, and two deceased: Harriet A. and Rebecca R.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 417


CHARLES G. RECTOR, farmer, Cory P.O., was born in Clay county, Indiana, in 1839, and his father, John P. RECTOR, was one of the earliest settlers, having come to Indiana in 1815. He is a strong republican, and in 1861 enlisted in Co. O, 31st reg. Ind. Vols., and served with honor until the close of the war. He participated in every battle in which the regiment was engaged but one; was engaged in the battle of Fort Donelson, Stone River, Chickamanga, and Kencsaw Mountain, where he was wounded, being shot through the left leg, below the knee, and through the right thigh, on June 14, 1864. After leaving the army he engaged in farming, and February 8, 1866, he married Deliah BOONE, who was born in Clay county, April 18, 1839. He now owns eighty-three acres of land, and is a leading member of the Christian church.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 419


The father of GEORGE RECTOR, whose post office is Cory, Clay county, was one of the early settlers of Vigo county. He came to Terre Haute as early as 1815. He was a native of Virginia, born March 4, 1793, and died in Clay county at the age of seventy-eight years. His wife, Catharine PRICE, was a native of Virginia, born about 1796, and died in 1879. They first settled in Harrison township, where they lived for about twenty-two years, since which time they spent the remainder of their life in Clay county. George RECTOR, the subject of this sketch, was born in Knox county, Indiana, November 28, 1814, but was raised in Vigo county, where he received his early education. He attended common school, such as their was at the time of the early settlement of Vigo county. At that time it used to be quite popular to have spelling matches, and at one of these Mr. RECTOR was challenged by S.B. GOOKINS for the championship, and they were to spell five hundred words for a jackknife. Mr. RECTOR had the honor of carrying off the prize. In 1838 Mr. RECTOR was joined in marriage to Elizabeth J. VanCLEAVE, a native of Orange county, Indiana, born in 1820. They have been blessed with eight children, of which are living Benjamin, Catharine, Matthew S., Elijah O., Wesley J. and James A. The deceased were Maggie G. and Freddie S. Mr. and Mrs. RECTOR have been life-long christians, having joined the Christian church some years ago.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 412


W.H. RECTOR, farmer, Cory, Clay county, was born in Vigo county, Indiana, August 19, 1820, and has been a resident of Vigo and Clay counties most of his life. He served in the Mexican war in the 4th reg. Ind. Vols., under Capt. COCHRAN, of Co. H, and was in several battles. He has been a citizen of Clay county for a number of years, and has taken an active part in local improvements, and by being a man of ability has been elected county commissioner, which office he has held for six years. Mr. RECTOR's mother has marketed butter at the old Fort Harrison. Mr. RECTOR was married in 1853 to Martha McMASTERS, who was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1826, and came to Vigo county in 1827. Her parents had moved in that year. Her maiden name was FISK. She was the daughter of David FISK, and was married to McMASTERS before she was married to Mr. RECTOR. They have four children: Arminda, Alwilda, William G. and Oliver W. Mr. and Mrs. RECTOR are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. RECTOR owns 144 acres of land, on which he has made all the improvements.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 411-412


JOHN REECE, farmer, Riley, was born in Clermont county, Ohio, January 24, 1825, and came with his parents to Clay county in 1835. His father, John REECE, was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1796, and died in Vigo county in 1877. His mother was Nancy LINDSEY, a native of Clermont county, Ohio, born February 13, 1803, and died in 1880. Mr. REECE has been one of the hardest working men in this part of the county, always taking the lead in all farm work. He began for himself with but little, but by hard work and good financiering he has become the owner of 740 acres of land in this and Clay county. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity which meets at Lockport. His first wife was Nancy FERREL, daughter of James FERREL. She was born in Vigo county, Indiana, in 1827, and is now deceased. His present wife is Susan GREY, whose parents were early settlers of Vigo county. Mr. REECE does not take an active part in political matters, but casts his vote in favor of democracy.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 417


I.N. RUMBLEY, farmer, Riley, was born in Kosciusko county, Indiana, March 14, 1834, and is the son of John H. and Mariah (WILSON) RUMBLEY. Mr. RUMBLEY Sr. was born in North Carolina, February 22, 1805, and came to Kosciusko, Indiana, in an early day, and built the first log cabin in the township where he settled, and had a great deal to do in the way of making early improvements. His wife, Mariah WILSON, is a native of Ohio, born April 15, 1810, and now resides in this county. He died in 1853. The subject of this sketch came to Vigo county in 1846, and first settled in Sugar Creek township, after moving to where he now lives. In 1854 he married Sarah E. ARMSTRONG, daughter of G.W. ARMSTRONG. She was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, September 12, 1834, and by their union they have three children: George B., John A., and Henry W. Mr. and Mrs. RUMBLEY are members of the Christian church, in which they have been identified as faithful workers in the cause of religion for some time. Mr. RUMBLEY owns 210 acres of land, of which he has improved 180 acres. Beginning in life with little or nothing, he has worked by the day for fifty cents a day and boarded himself, but by hard work and economy he is now able to enjoy the fruits of his many years' hard work.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 420


CHARLES W. RUSSELL, physician and surgeon, Riley, was born in Linton township, Vigo county, Indiana, August 12, 1843. His father, John RUSSELL, was a native of Kentucky, and one of the first settlers of Vigo county. He married his wife in Linton township, where he followed the occupation of farming, and died in 1876. Charles W. RUSSELL, the subject of this sketch, lived on his father's farm until the age of eighteen. His father being a man of limited means, was unable to do much for him either in the way of giving him an educational or a financial start in life. He attended the county schools at such odd spells as he could spare from work, but the education he then obtained was very limited, being confined to the simplest rudiments of reading, writing and arithmatic. At the age of eighteen, when the rebellion broke out, in 1861, he enlisted in the army and served in Co. D, 43d Ind. reg. He enlisted for three years, but sickness compelled him to leave the army after serving less than two years. He fulfilled the duties of a soldier faithfully, and was honorably discharged December 15, 1862. Returning home in feeble health, and being unable to work, he began to be exercised by the problem of how he should get a living. He had not learning enough to depend upon for support in any profession. He resolved to go to work and educate himself, and with that purpose in view he purchased some books and went to studying. Determined to succeed, and being of a naturally bright intellect and retentive memory, his progress was rapid, and as he advanced and his thirst for knowledge increased he was stimulated to greater exertions, sometimes becoming so absorbed in his books as to forget himself and go all day without his dinner. In six months he had made progress enough to obtain a certificate to teach a school, and by teaching earned the means of support to further pursue his studies. In this way he became one of the most efficient and popular teachers in Vigo county, teaching about six years, and in the meantime pursuing the study of medicine. He continued teaching till he had nearly completed his medical course, it being necessary to raise the funds to carry him through. He attended his first term at Rush Medical College of Chicago in 1867-68, and graduated in 1870. He was then without means to establish himself in practice, having used up all his resources in getting through college. But this difficulty was overcome by forming a partnership with Dr. W.S. DUNCAN, of Farmersburg, Sullivan county, Indiana, with whom he got a start and practiced nine months. He had by this time attained a good reputation in his profession and acquired means enough to enable him to start practice on his own account. On December 22, 1870, he was married to Miss R.L. LEAVITT, of Riley township, Vigo county, since which time he has resided in Lockport. In October, 1872, he was elected trustee on account of his interest in the cause of education, and since then has been reelected, and is its present incumbent.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 423-424


G.R. SHULTZ, wagon-maker, Riley, was born in Fountain county, Indiana, in 1848, and in 1849 his parents removed to Kansas, where Mr. SHULTZ remained until 1873, when he came to Vigo county. He soon after located at Lockport, where he is now doing a good business in manufacturing wagons and buggies. By his honest dealings he has gained the goodwill of his many customers. In 1878 he was elected constable, and in 1879 justice of the peace. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., and has passed all the chairs. September 22, 1873, he married Laura HENDRICKS, a native of Tipton county, Indiana. They have two children, Charles and Loue.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 424


J.W. SMITH, farmer, Youngstown, is one of the pioneers of Vigo county, and was born in Kentucky, August 15, 1811. His parents came to Kentucky in an early day. His father was one of the men that came there with Daniel BOONE. They came to Indiana and stopped in Lawrence county nine years. Then they came to Vigo county in the fall of 1822, and settled three miles east of Prairieton, where his father William died at the age of eighty-eight. Mr. SMITH's mother was Katie SPOON, who was a native of Germany, and died in her sixty-sixth year. Mr. SMITH was joined in marriage March 19, 1834, to Mary A. TYRON, daughter of J. TYRON, who was an early settler of this county. She was born in Hamilton county, Ohio, in 1816, and died June 19, 1869. He afterward married Mrs. Elizabeth BUCHANAN. Mr. SMITH's father was an old revolutionary war soldier, and was also in the war of 1812. Mr. SMITH has nine children by his former wife: Levina, Henry A., James A., William I., Oliver, Delila, wife of L. JOSLIN; Robert G., Green, and Matilda, wife of John HUDSON. Mr. SMITH can remember a great deal about the early settlement of Vigo county. He has killed many a deer from his own door. He can make and play a violin, and all his brothers and father could play it. His ancestors came from England. He has helped to raise many a log cabin, and took an active part in the improvements of the county. He is the owner of as fine a farm as there is in Vigo county, and it has been the result of many a hard year's work.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 412-413


THOMAS THOMPSON, farmer, Riley, was born in 1828, in Vigo county, Indiana, to which his parents came at an early day. His father was a native of Virginia, born in about 1797, and is now a resident of Clay county. When he came to Vigo county he settled in Riley township, within one mile of where Mr. THOMPSON now lives. Mr. THOMPSON has been a resident of Riley township all his life. He has been engaged in farming and stock raising, and owns 240 acres of land, which has been made by his own extertions. His mother was Susannah PADDOCK, who was a native of Ohio, and died in Vigo county in about 1875. Mr. THOMPSON has been married twice. His first wife was Miss R. BROOKS, and his present wife is S.A. CURVATT. He has one child by his former wife, Mary L., and six by his present wife, Arabell, Caroline, Clayton S., Willard V., Susannah, and John F.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 415


WILLIAM THOMPSON, farmer, Youngstown, was born in Riley township, Vigo county, Indiana, in 1834. His father, Samuel C., and his mother, Sarah (BOLES) THOMPSON, came to Vigo county almost with the first settlers. His father was a native of North Carolina, and his mother of Virginia. They were the first settlers on Honey Creek prairie. They built the first log cabin in Riley township, and the first child born in the township was their son Alfred. Mr. and Mrs. THOMPSON were residents of the county until their deaths. In 1857 Mr. THOMPSON married Abigail BEACH, of Vigo county, born March 15, 1836, and died April 7, 1866. His second marriage was April 4, 1871, to Mary SMITH, the daughter of Thomas SMITH. Mr. THOMPSON has two children by his former wife, Edward S. and Sarah A.; and one by his present wife, Harles M. Mr. THOMPSON is a member of the Masonic fraternity, also of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is the owner of a fine farm of 110 acres, on which he has made most of the improvements.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 416-417


J.R. TYRON, merchant, Riley, was born in Vigo county, Indiana, April 7, 1840. His people came to Vigo county as early as 1836. September 18, 1861, Mr. TYRON enlisted in Co. D, 43d reg. Ind. Vols., and served until the close of the war. He took part in all the battles in which his regiment was engaged. April 25, 1864, he was taken prisoner at Mark's Mill, Arkansas, and was taken to Tyler, Texas, and was held as a prisoner of war until February 25, 1865, when he was exchanged. June 23, 1865, he was honorably discharged, and he returned to Lockport, Indiana, and in 1869 engaged in his present business. November 4, 1868, he married Miss Mary E. HALL, a native of Jefferson county, Kentucky, born February 6, 1851. The fruits of their marriage are seven children, of whom five are living: Howard, Victoria, Maude B., Josephine and Dora A. The names of the deceased are Horace and Henry.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - pp. 417-418


JOSEPH WILSON, deceased, was born in Morgan county, Virginia, August 9, 1808, and came with his parents to Washington county, Indiana, in 1815. Here Mr. WILSON married Miss MARY HARTLEY in 1833, and soon after came to Vigo county. She was a native of North Carolina, born October 24, 1812, and came with her parents to Washington county, Indiana, in 1814. Mrs. WILSON lives on the farm where Mr. WILSON settled when he came to the county. She has three children living, Jessie H., William H. and Thomas C., the latter of whom resides at home with his mother and looks after her welfare. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity of Riley Lodge, No. 390. He and his mother now reside in the first house that was built on the prairie in Riley township.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 410


E.R. WYETHE, nurseryman, Riley, was born in Clay county, Indiana, October 15, 1837. His father, Charles, was a native of Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1812, and came to Vigo county as early as 1835. He settled on the farm occupied by the subject of this sketch and his brother, John W. WYETHE. They have a fine nursery, and are able to furnish all kinds of fruits and ornamental trees, and of as good a variety as can be had at any nursery. Mr. WYETHE has taken an active part in the interests of all improvements of the community where he lives. He has been twice elected to the office of justice of the peace. He served in the rebellion in Co. F, 14th Ind. Vols., and participated in the battles of Winchester, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and a number of others. In 1868 he was married to Nancy HANNA, a native of Kentucky, born in 1847, and by their union they have four children: Charles R., Fredrick W., Ivinnelah and Flora R. Mr. WYETHE is a member of the Masonic fraternity, which meets at Lockport.

HISTORY OF VIGO AND PARKE COUNTIES, Together With Historic Notes on the Wabash Valley
H.W. Beckwith - 1880
Riley Twp. - p. 418

View a history of Riley Township.


Submitted by Charles Lewis
Data entry by Kim Holly

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