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Jay County Indiana Biographies


Charles Smith SPAHR, one of the best known and most substantial farmers and landowners of Jay county, now living retired on his well kept place in Greene township, rural mail route No. 1 out of Dunkirk, was born on that place, a member of one of the real pioneer families of that section, and has lived there all his life. Mr. SPAHR was born on March 30, 1855, and is a son of James and Elizabeth (SMITH) SPAHR, both of whom were born in Greene county, Ohio, their respective families having been among the old families of that section of Ohio, and were married there. A few days after their marriage James SPAHR and his bride, followed by the best wishes of their kinsfolk and friends back in Ohio, put what essential household belongings they could get into a covered wagon and started on their journey west into Indiana, James SPAHR having previously entered from the Government a tract of a half section of land in Greene township, this county. They came in with their ox team over the old Quaker trace and upon their arrival at the point in the woods which was to he their future home erected a temporary shelter and settled down to "housekeeping." With the assistance of ready and willing neighbors to help at the "raising" it was not long until their log cabin was erected and then began the real job of home making and farm making. James SPAHR cleared the greater part of that half section and in due time had a good farm there. He and his wife reared their family on the place and were from the first accounted among the most useful and influential of the pioneers of that section, helpful in all ways m establishing proper social and economic conditions in the formative period of that now prosperous and progressive community. and on that place they spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of eight children, six of whom are now living, the subject of this sketch having four sisters, Isabella. Phoebe, Lavina and Emma. and a brother, J. Finley SPAHR. Reared on the pioneer farm on which he was born, Charles Smith SPAHR received his schooling in the somewhat primitive schools which were developing along with the community and from the days of his boyhood was a helpful agent in the labors of developing the home farm, where he always has made his home. After his father's death he and his brother Findley, managed the place for some time on a mutually agreeable basis and then bought the interests of the other heirs, since which time Charles Smith SPAHR has been permanently established there. Since then numerous improvements have been made on the place, the farm plant being well equipped, all the present building's having been erected under this ownership. In addition to his general farming, Mr. SPAHR long gave considerable attention to the raising of live stock and did well. He owns 223 acres but since 1913 has been practically retired from active farm work, though continuing to keep a supervisory eye on things. In 1881 Charles SMITH SPAHR was united in marriage to .Alice SCHMUCK, daughter of Capt. John and Alta. (REED) SCHMUCK, of this county, and to this union three children have been born, namely; James Orville SPAHR, who married Oma HIATT and has two children, Eldon and Ruth; Harley Morton SPAHR, who married Cleo LORTON and has four children, Kenneth, Keith, Kline and Mary Alice; and Russell Elsworth SPAHR, who married Ocie RAY and has three children, Elmer, Clyde and Ruth. Mr. and Mrs. SPAHR are members of the Center United Brethern church and he has for many years been an office bearer in the church, having held at one time and another pretty much all the offices pertaining to the government of the congregation. He is a Republican and has ever given a good citizen's attention to local civic affairs, but has not been an office seeker. Mrs. SPAHR was born in Bearcreek township, this county, and received her schooling there. Her parents had ten children, seven of whom now are living, those besides Mrs. SPAHR being Henry, Emily, Bianca, Morton, Elmer and Charles SCHMUCK.

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