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Jay County Indiana Biographies

JESSE W. MENDENHALL, one of the active and enterprising agriculturists of Jefferson Township, residing on section 22, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, December 27, 1833, a son of Pennell and Maria (West) Mendenhall. His parents were born and reared in the State of Pennsylvania, and shortly after their marriage settled in Ohio. With their four children, Jesse then being a babe of three months, they left Columbiana County for Randolph County, Indiana, in June, 1839, settling in the woods of Franklin Township, where they built a good home, and lived many years to enjoy the fruits of their own industry. The father died September 16, 1871, aged sixty years, his widow surviving until October 11, 1880, dying at the age of sixty-nine years. Of eleven children born to them ten grew to maturity -Jesse W., the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Sarah Campbell of Wayne Township; Joseph, was a member of the Fifty-sixth Indiana Infantry, and died during the siege of Vicksburg; James resides in Jefferson Township; Mrs. Lydia Mills, living in Saunders County, Nebraska; Mrs. Susan Betts, of Randolph County, Indiana; Daniel, of Cass County, Nebraska; Mrs. Margaret Waltz, also living in Cass County; Mrs. Eliza Betts, living in Randolph County; and William, of Saunders County, Nebraska. One child, Elizabeth, died in infancy. James, the third son, served three years in the war of the Rebellion, enlisting September 28, 1861, in Company F. Fortieth Ohio Infantry, and was in the campaign against rebel General Humphrey under the late President Garfield. While home on a furlough he was married, May 19, 1864, to Miss Delilah Odle. Jesse W. Mendenhall, whose name heads this sketch, remained with his parents until his marriage, November 6, 1856, to Miss Phoebe Badgley. She was born in Darke County, Ohio, December 12, 1839, and when she was five years of age her parents. William and Elizabeth (Wilson) Badgley, settled in Randolph County, they being among the early settlers of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall are the parents of twelve children -Mrs. Maria E. Morical, of Jay County; William P., of Olmstead County, Minnesota; Thomas B., at home; James E., of Jay County; John A., of Olmstead County, Minnesota; Mrs. Sarah E. Philips, of Jay County; Mary J., Rosetta I., Jesse F., Nellie J., Anna L. and Melissa A., the last six living at home with their parents. Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall commenced married life on their farm in Franklin Township, Randolph County, but in 1865 Mr. Mendenhall sold that property (eighty acres), and in September of that year bought the homestead in Jefferson Township, which he and his family have seen occupied. The home farm contains seventy-three acres of well improved land, having 545rods of tile drainage. Beside this property he owns a fine farm of 120 acres on section 23 of the same township, one mile east of his residence, which he bought in 1876. The farm buildings on that property are at present rented out to a tenant. Both Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at New Mount Pleasant. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party

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