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Jay County Indiana Biographies

Elias H. STEED, a member of the township advisory board for Jefferson township and one of the best known agriculturists of that township, proprietor of an excellent farm on rural mail rout No. I out of Redkey, is a native son of Jay county, a member of one of the real pioneer families of this county, and has resided here all his life. Mr. STEED was born on a farm in Jefferson township on February 6, 1853, and is a son of William W. and Phoebe (PYLE) STEED, both of whom were pioneers in Jay county, having been but children when they came with their respective parents to Indiana in the days of the settlement of this county. The late William W. STEED, a former member of the board of county commissioners for Jay county, was born in Shenandoah county, Virginia, March 9, 1825. and was but four years of age when in 1829 his parents, John and Frances (AKER) STEED, also native Virginians, moved to Warren county, Ohio. John STEED, who was a soldier of the War of 1812, was born on May 1, 1791, and was reared in Virginia, becoming a farmer. Upon his removal to Ohio he established his home on a farm in Warren county and remained there until the spring of 1837 when he came over into Indiana with his family and settled on an "eighty" he had entered from the Government in section 13 of Jefferson township, this county, thus becoming one of the real pioneers of the New Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. He created a good farm there and on that place spent the remainder of his life, one of the strong and influential members of that community, his death occurring on August 15, 1872. He and his wife had four children, three sons, Robert, Thomas and William W., and a daughter, Matilda, who became the wife of Cheney PYLE, of Jefferson township. William W. STEED was twelve years of age when he came to Jay county with his parents in 1837, the year after this county was formally organized, and he grew to manhood on the pioneer farm in Jefferson township. As a young man he went over into Ohio and there spent a year, but returned to the home farm and presently acquired a quarter section in section 20 of Jefferson township. He married at the age of twenty-three and established his home in a log cabin he had erected in a clearing he had made on his place. As his affairs prospered Mr. STEED erected more commodious buildings and in time came to have one of the best improved farm plants in the county. He also increased his land holdings until he became the owner of 540 acres, and for many years also was largely engaged in the buying and selling of live stock. In the panic of 1893 much of his property was lost and he thereafter led a somewhat retired life. He died on December 28, 1899. During the period of his activity Mr. STEED was regarded as one of the leaders of the Democratic party in this county and for two years (1872-74) served as a member of the board of county commissioners from his district. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity. William W. STEED was twice married. In 1848 he was united in marriage to Phoebe PYLE, who was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, May 6, 1828, and who was but six years of age when her parents, George P. and Ann (SMITH) PYLE, the latter a native of Virginia and the former of Chester county, Pennsylvania, moved with their family into Ohio, in 1832, and settled in Clinton county, where they remained until the spring of 1838 when they came over into Indiana and settled on a farm in section 36 of Greene township, this county. In the middle '40s George P. PYLE moved from Greene township to Jefferson township and in this latter township spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring on May 29, 1859, he then being sixty years of age. His widow survived until July 2, 1863, she then being sixty-four years of age. They were the parents of nine children and the PYLE connection in the present generation is a considerable one. To William W. and Phoebe (PYLE) STEED four sons were born, John, Calvin ,deceased, Oliver H. P. and Elias H. The mother of these sons died on November 16, 1855, and in the following April William W. STEED married Eliza Jane HESTON, who was born in Ohio, a daughter of Zebulon and Elizabeth (STACKHOUSE) HESTON, who became pioneers of Jay county, settling in Jefferson township in 1838. To this union seven children were born, Louvernia G., Homer, Lewis N., Matilda M., William E., Chester, deceased, and Maud. Reared on the home farm in Jefferson township, Elias H. STEED received his schooling in the neighborhood schools and remained at home, assisting in the labors of the farm, until he was twenty-one after which he took over the management of the place, renting the same from his father, and so continued for three years, at the end of which time he made his home with his elder brother, remaining with the latter until his marriage at the age of twenty-nine, after which he again rented the old home farm and there made his home for ten years. He then bought the "eighty" on which he is now living and has since resided there, in the meantime having made numerous substantial improvements on the place and now has a well equipped farm plant. Mr. STEED is a Democrat and has long taken an active part in local political affairs. In 19'18 he was elected a member of the Jefferson township' advisory board and is still serving in that capacity. He is a member of the Christian church and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. It was on April 25, 1882, that Ellas H. STEED was united in marriage to Sarah J. HOPPES, who also was born in Jay county, a daughter of Elijah and Elizabeth ( PHILLIPS ) HOPPES, and to this union two children were born, Esther, who was born on January II, 1883, and who died on September 14, 1884, and Palmer L., born on August 19, 1885, who died on July 8, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. STEED have an adopted daughter, Freda Dorris, whom they welcomed into their home when she was three years of age, who became a teacher in the New Mt. Pleasant schools and who on December 29, 1921, married Percy L. GLEASON, a. veteran of the World war. Mrs. STEED also is a member of one of the real pioneer families of Jay county, her parents having been but children when they came here with their respective parents from Ohio, the Hoppes coming from Fayette county and the PHILLIPS from Highland county. Elijah HOPPES, who became one of the most substantial farmers of Jay county, was born in 1840 and was but three years of age when his parents, John and Sarah HOPPES, came to Jay county and settled in Richland township. In 1859 he married Elizabeth PHILLIPS, daughter of Asa F. and Mary PHILLIPS, who was about twelve years of age when she came to this county with her parents, the family locating in Richland township, and to that union nine children were born, those besides Mrs. STEED having been Mary S., Cyrus E., Tellitha G., Osta V., Rosa A., Wilber C., Bertha J. and Hattie L. Elijah HOPPES was the owner of about 500 acres of land in section 18 of Jefferson township and was for years one of the leaders in that community

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