ABRAHAM BERGEN, an old and highly respected citizen of Franklin, Johnson County, Ind., was born in Henry County, Ky., September 7, 1818, and is the son of Garrett C. and Mary (Banta) Bergen. When a boy of thirteen years he came with his parents to Johnson County, and helped clear away the forest on the old homestead near Franklin. He hauled the first load of cordwood that was sold on the market, for which he received 50 cents. he learned the tanner's trade with this father, and then purchased the tannery, and when twenty-six years of age he and his brother, George, left the old yard and removed to Brown County, Ind., and ran a large tannery there, at the same time carrying on a currying shop in Franklin. When thirty-one years of age he dissolved partnership with his brother, and bought 500 acres of land on Beenblossom Creek, in Brown County, where he resided for eleven years. He next took charge of his father's farm near Franklin for three years. At the end of that period, and when forty-five years of age, he formed a partnership with W. C. Wheat, in the tanning business, at Franklin. Four years later, his son, Alonzo N. Bergen, bought Mr. Wheat's interest, and father and son ran the business for a number of years. Mrs. Bergen joined the Presbyterian Church at Franklin when nineteen years of age, and at the age of twenty-two was made a deacon, and served as such until his removal to Brown County. At the age of thirty years the subject of this sketch was ordained a ruling elder in the Georgetown (Brown County) Church, in which capacity he served until his return to Franklin. For ten years he was superintendent of the Georgetown Sunday schools, and later conducted a successful Missionary Sunday school at Franklin. He was married March 15, 1842, to Sarah A. E. Henderson, who was born March 7, 1824, and was killed on November 11, 1875, by an accident. He was married a second time, January 3, 1878, to Fanny K. Warner, who was born in Ohio, March 15, 1832, and is the daughter of William and Lavina (Hedrick) Warner, the father being a native of Pennsylvania, and the mother of Ohio. To the first marriage four children were born, two of whom are now living, and to the second, none. Garrett Bergen, the father, was born July 17, 1792, in New Jersey. In about 1831, he removed to one-quarter mile from Franklin, Johnson County, and of which county he was one of the first settlers, and entered part of the land upon which Franklin was located. He was a soldier of the War of 1812, under Gen. Harrison. His death occurred September 22, 1872. He was married first to Mary Banta, on January 13, 1814, who was born March 4, 1794, and died August 23, 1855. He was married a second time, on November 25, 1856, to Eleanor, widow of S. S. Ryker, daughter of Christopher G. Bergen.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.