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Jay County Indiana Biographies

Joseph A. LeFAVOUR, trustee of Jackson township and a substantial farmer and landowner of that township, is a member of one of the old families of Jay county and of one of the real pioneer families of Indiana, the LeFAVOUR's (LeFEVRE) having been found in this state since Territorial days. The first of this family in America was Colonel LeFEVRE, who accompanied LaFayette's army from France to the aid of the American colonists in their struggle for freedom during the War of the Revolution and after rendering valiant service in behalf of the Continental army threw in his lot with that of the colonists and became a resident of this country, one of his sons in turn following the tide of emigration west and becoming a resident of Indiana in Territorial days, presently locating at Indianapolis [ Marion Co.] when the new capital was laid out and there his son, James Lawrence LeFEVRE, or LeFAVOUR, as the name has been known in Indiana, was born in 1822, the year following the formal platting of the new capital in the wilderness. James Lawrence LeFAVOUR grew up at Indianapolis and became a saddler and harness maker, later moving with his parents over into Delaware county and presently coming from there over into Jay county and locating at Pennville, then Camden, where he married Isabelle ENGLE, a daughter of one of the pioneers of that village, the ENGLE's having come over here from Ohio in the early days of the settlement of this county, and there he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives, with the exception of a few years spent at Bluffton, [Wells Co.] his death occurring in 1859. They were the parents of six children, of whom four grew to maturity, namely, Emmet, father of the subject of this sketch; Joseph, who became a lawyer and located at Albany, in Delaware county; Rudolph, who became a farmer in Adams county, and Mary E., who married John DEAN, of Wells county. Emmet LeFAVOUR was born at Pennville on October 5. 1849. and was but ten years of age when his father died. He was reared in the family of his uncle in Jackson township, this county, and remained there until his marriage at the age of twenty-four, when he rented a farm just over the line in Adams county but presently moved back to Jay county where he rented a farm in Jackson township and established his home there. His affairs prospered and in due time he bought a farm of forty acres in Jackson township and created there an excellent farm plant. On that place he spent the remainder of his life, one of the useful and influential residents of that neighborhood. It was on February 25, 1874, that Emmet LeFAVOUR was united in marriage to Savilla BAIR, who also was born in this county, daughter of John and Mary (WENTZ) BAIR, who had come here from Pennsylvania in 1856, and to this union were born eight children, six of whom are living, those besides the subject of this sketch being Elizabeth, William, Bessie, Russell and Ruby, the deceased children of this family having been Eva and Fred. Joseph A. LeFAVOUR, son of Emmet and Savilla ( BAIR ) LeFAVOUR, was born on a farm just over the line in Adams county, but practically all his life has been spent in Jay county, his parents having moved back here when he was but an infant. He received his early schooling in the schools of Jackson township and supplemented this by a course in the Tri-state College at Angola, after which he began teaching school, a vocation he followed for seventeen years, spending his summers working as a carpenter. In 1905, the year in which he was married, he purchased a sixty-acre farm in Jackson township, the place on which he is now living, and has since resided there, meantime increasing his holdings until he now is the owner of 135 acres and has one of the best farm plants in that part of the county. Mr. LeFAVOUR is a Republican and has for years been recognized as one of the leaders of that party in this county. In 1918 he was elected trustee of Jackson township and is now serving in that important public capacity, the tenure of office being a four-year term. He and his wife are members of the White Oak Friends church and Mrs. LeFAVOUR is a charter member of that organization. On December 1, 1905, Joseph A. LeFAVOUR was united in marriage to Florida Myrtle NORTH, who was born in this county, daughter of Henry and Florida (BONE) NORTH, and to this union two sons have been born, Robert, born in 1907, and Albert, 1911. Mrs. LeFAVOUR also was a teacher in the schools of this county before her marriage. She also is a member of one of the old families of the county. Her father, Henry NORTH, was born in Jay county in 1854, the son and only child of Zachariah and Catherine ( HALTERMAN ) NORTH, who were among the pioneers of Jackson township. Zachariah NORTH was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1829, and was twelve years of age when he came with his parents to Indiana. His son Henry grew to manhood in this county and in the fall of 1878 married Florida BONE, who also was born in this county, one of the six children born to Henry and Margaret ( BIRCH ) BONE, pioneers here, the former of whom was born in Greene county, Ohio, the son of John Henry BONE, who was a soldier of the Revolution. In an interesting review of his life written in 1915 Mrs. LeFAVOUR's father, Henry NORTH, pointed out for the information of his kinsfolk that he was born in the hamlet of West Liberty, this county, January 21, 1854. West Liberty later came to be known as Mills Corner, the proprietor of the store there securing that name for the place when the post-office was established and he was appointed postmaster, there then having been another West Liberty post-office in the state, in Howard county. In the spring of 1857, Henry NORTH then being three years of age, the NORTH family moved to a tract of forty acres of land on the NORTH side of Jay county, which Mr. NORTH's review describes as "a clay knoll that was too poor to raise an umbrella on, the knoll being completely covered with heavy timber such as white oak, black oak, red oak, burl-oak, hickory and so on, this clay knoll of about twenty acres being entirely surrounded by water covered with willows, water frogs, mosquitoes and snakes, snakes any length from six inches to eight feet." Concerning the establishment of the family home there, Mr. NORTH's review went on to say that "of course the first thing to do was to put up a dwelling house; so father took his chopping ax and broadax and started out in the woods to saw the lumber, which was done, of course, by cutting down timber, trimming it up and cutting off logs 18 and 24 feet long, which he managed to drag to the highest point on the knoll by means of a plug team he had, then calling the neighbors to help erect it, they being few and far between. After being erected the house, of course, had to have a floor; so father went to the same sawmill, this time taking a maul and wedge, and cut down trees, cutting off ten-foot logs and splitting them about 4 to 5 inches thick and hewing the ends of them so they would lay still on sleepers about ten inches thick. Of course, the next thing was a roof over it. Going back to the same lumber yard, father, taking a froe and ax this time, cut logs four feet long in small enough pieces so that he could split them in shingles about ten inches wide and four feet long. The next winter he had the house far enough along to live in, it being up and the roof on, but no chimney; so he split some slats about like lath and laid them up, daubing them inside and outside with mud that constituting the chimney for the first winter."

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