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Jay County Indiana Biographies

William R. HAFFNER, a veteran of the Civil War and a retired farmer of Bearcreek township, living at his pleasant farm home in that township, where he has resided for many years, one of the best known men in that section of the county, is a native son of Jay county and has lived here all his life. Mr. HAFFNER was born on a farm in Jackson township on February 8, 1843, and is a son of John and Mary (PEARSON) HAFFNER, the latter of whom was born in Ohio. John HAFFNER was born in Virginia and was about nine years of age when his parents moved to Ohio, where he grew to manhood and was married, later coming over into Indiana and making his home in Jackson township, this county, where he spent his last days. In addition to his farming, John HAFFNER also was a cabinet maker and carried on quite a business in making furniture for his pioneer neighbors during the earlier years of his residence in this county. He and his wife were the parents of ten children, six of whom are still living, the subject of this sketch having two sisters, Julia and Emma, and three brothers, Albert, John and Eli HAFFNER. Reared on the home farm, William R. HAFFNER received his schooling in the old Higgins school, a hewed log structure. He was eighteen years of age when the Civil War broke out and in the next year, on August 15, 1862, enlisted his services in behalf of the cause of the Union and went to the front as a private in Company E of the 89th regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, with which gallant command he served for a bit more than three years, or until his discharge at Mobile, Ala., August 24,1865, the war then being over. Upon the completion of his military service Mr. HAFFNER returned home and resumed his place on the farm. When twenty-two years of age he bought an eighty-acre tract of woodland in Bearcreek township, a part of the place on which he is now living, and began to clear and improve the same, meanwhile renting adjacent fields on which to carry on his farming operations. In the fall of the following year he married and established his home on that place and has since resided there with [p 109] the exception of a period of three years which he spent at Portland. Mr. HAFFNER has a well improved farm, the operations of which are now carried on by his son, Orville HAFFNER, who took charge upon his father's retirement in 1919. William R. HAFFNER has been twice married. On October 18, 1866, he was united in marriage to Mary A. HOLLOWAY, who was born in the vicinity of Plattsville, in Shelby county, Ohio, and who was about fourteen years of age when she came to Jay county with her parents, George P. and Elizabeth (CARMONY) HOLLOWAY, the former of whom formerly and for years was engaged in the harness business at Portland. To that union six children were born. Of these, three are still living, Elmer, Vioretta and Leona, the latter of whom married Otis HUTCHENS, of Muncie, and has two children, Robert and Alma. Elmer HAFFNER, who is farming in Bearcreek township, married Lillie DOUGHERTY and has seven children, Forrest, Cloyd, Walter, Dale, Wayne, Fern and Hazel. Vioretta HAFFNER married William WATERMYERS, a farmer of the Findlay neighborhood, in Ohio, and has five children. Mrs. Mary A. (HOLLOWAY) HAFFNER died and on June 28, 1900, Mr. HAFFNER married Dora B. MAST, of this county, and to this union two children have been born, Orville W. and Mamie B., the latter of whom is a member of the class of 1922, Bryant high school. Orville W. HAFFNER was graduated from the Bryant high school with the class of 1918 and is now, as noted above, carrying on the operations of the home farm for his father. Mrs. Dora B. HAFFNER was born in Pike township, this county, and is a daughter of John and Priscilla (CORLE) MAST, the latter of whom also was born in that township, a member of one of the pioneer families of this county. John MAST was born in Union county, Ohio, and early became a resident of Jay county, moving from Pike township to Bearcreek township when Mrs. HAFFNER was about fifteen years of age. He and his wife were the parents of three children, Mrs. HAFFNER having a sister, Mary, and a brother, John V. MAST. The HAFFNERs have a pleasant home in Bearcreek township, rural mail route No. 11 out of Portland, and have ever taken an interested part in the general social activities of the neighborhood. Mr. and Mrs. HAFFNER are members of the Christian Union church and in their political views are inclined to 'independence.'"

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