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Jay County Indiana Biographies

Walter L. HARTLEY, trustee of Penn township and proprietor of a fine farm in that township, on rural mail route No. 2 out of Pennville, one of the best known men in the northern part of Jay county, is a native son of this county and has lived here all his life. Mr. HARTLEY is a member of one of the real pioneer families of Jay county, his grandfather, Samuel HARTLEY having established the family home here in 1848, in the fall of which year he came here from Ohio and located at Portland, where he became engaged at his trade of blacksmith. A year later he bought a tract of land in Penn township and moved to the same, setting up a blacksmith shop there. There he lived until 1856, when he and his wife went to Minnesota and put in their lot with the pioneers in Mower county, that state, where they spent the remainder of their days, the latter dying in 1874 and the former in 1877. Samuel HARTLEY was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in 1808, a son of Thomas HARTLEY. When he was eight years of age he moved with his parents to Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He married Deborah BORDEN, who was born in New Jersey, a daughter of Anthony BORDEN, who moved to Cincinnati [Hamilton Co.] about 1816, where she was reared and married. After his marriage Samuel HARTLEY made his home in Montgomery county, Ohio, where he resided until he came to Jay county. He and his wife reared a family of eight children and the HARTLEY's of this line in the present generation form a considerable family connection. William W. HARTLEY, one of the sons of Samuel and Deborah (BORDEN) HARTLEY and father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, June 8, 1832, and was thus sixteen years of age when he came with his parents to Jay county. He early was trained as a blacksmith by his father and also became a skilled wagon maker, following that vocation with his father at Pennville. He later took up carpentering and became widely known as a builder hereabout. In the meantime he had bought an "eighty" in section 30 of Jackson township, which he improved and on which he made his home for ten years, at the end of which time he traded that place for a farm m section 31, but did not hold that place long, shortly thereafter trading for an "eighty" in section 36 of Penn township, where he spent the remainder of his life and on which his widow is now living. William W. HARTLEY was twice married. On June II, 1857, he was united in marriage to Mary J. GRISSEL, a daughter of Samuel GRISSEL, the "father" of Pennville. She died on December 14, 1859, and on October 9, 1862, he married Mary W. GRIFFITH, who was born at Waynesville, Ohio, and who was but a child when she came to this county with her parents, Lukens and Elizabeth ( WHARTON ) GRIFFITH, in 1848, the GRIFFITH's becoming substantial pioneers of Jay county. To William W. and Mary W. (GRIFFITH) HARTLEY were born four sons, those besides the subject of this sketch being Edwin Charles. deceased, Roy Griffith and Frank L. Walter L. HARTLEY, first born of these sons, was born at Pennville, then Camden, on June 13, 1864, and his schooling was received in the schools of that village. Under his father's direction he early learned the carpenter trade and for some time was engaged along that line, meantime also renting the paternal farm and carrying on farming operations there, and was thus engaged until in 1893, when he bought a tract of sixty acres in Jackson township and began "on his own." He later increased this to an "eighty" and farmed there until 1900, when he traded that farm for the eighty-acre tract on which he has since made his home in section 36 of Penn township. Since taking possession of this place Mr. HARTLEY has made numerous modern improvements and has an admirable farm plant. He also continues to farm the paternal farm of eighty acres, of which place he has had charge since he was twenty years of age. In addition to his general farming, Mr. HARTLEY has long been recognized as one of the leading stock breeders in Jay county, his specialty being pure bred black Angus cattle and he has a fine herd of breeding cattle on his place. He also feeds out about 125 head of hogs a year and is doing well in his operations. Mr. HARTLEY is a Republican and has for years given close attention to local civic affairs. He is at present serving a term as trustee of Penn township and has in other ways rendered service to the public. He is a member of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias. In 1886 Walter L. HARTLEY was united in marriage to Mary SELL, who was born in Randolph county, daughter of George and Margaret ( LAMBERT ) SELL, and to this union five children have been born, namely: Lee, who married Florence GREGG and has one child, a son, Robert; Wallace, who is unmarried and is at home assisting his father in the management of the stock farm; Ella, who married J. C. POLLY and has three children, Dorothy, Eileen and Sarah Maxine; Mary, who married Harry GARDNER, and Lucy, who married Francis BUNKER. The HARTLEY's have a very pleasant home and have ever taken an interested part in the community's general social activities.

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