James Kerlin, deceased.—Among the citizens of Johnson County, Ind., worthy of mention in a work of this character, none, perhaps, are more so than the subject of this brief biographical sketch. James Kerlin was the son of George and Rachel (Banta) Kerlin, and was born in Henry County, Ky., on February 12, 1825. His parents were natives of Kentucky, and emigrated to Johnson County, Ind., in about 1832, when their son was but seven years of age. The parents upon coming to Johnson County, located in Union Township, where they lived out their lives, and died on the old homestead. The mother survived her husband, and for many years was fondly and tenderly cared for and comforted by her son, our subject. He was reared on the farm and secured a good common school education, to which he added by means of a vigorous brain and desire to improve himself, a fund of practical knowledge which made him conversant with literary works, and particularly with the Scriptures, all of which he read with an understanding, grasping and retaining the true inwardness and purport of the works he read. With the exception of three years spent in manufacturing coverlids, in Indianapolis, and two years at Union Village, Johnson County, in the saw-milling business, his life was spent on the farm in Union Township. He was an excellent farmer, a very fine manager, and was very successful in life, leaving his family a comfortable home. He was united in marriage on August 24, 1871, near Knobnoster, Mo., to Miss Lou J. Tyler, who was born near Louisville, Ky., September 24, 1838, and is the daughter of Milton W. and Mary (Seaton) Tyler, natives of Kentucky, who removed thence to Johnson County, Ind., where they resided for about eighteen years, and then removed to Johnson County, Mo., where they reside at present on the farm. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Kerlin one son and two daughters were born, as follows: Seaton Tyler, born November 23, 1872; L. Leona, August 24, 1875, and M. Wyota, May 7, 1877. Mr. Kerlin died July 8, 1887, from heart trouble, his death occurring very suddenly, leaving a widow and the three children to mourn his sudden death. He was an exceptional man in point of integrity, honesty and purity of character, and led an upright and virtuous life, and by his example wielded an influence for good on all who came to contact with him. He was a practical Christian, read and believed in the Scriptures, and more, followed out their teachings to the letter, and had been converted, but had never joined any church organization. He was a devoted and kind husband and companion, a wise and loving father, and was in return loved and venerated beyond power of speech by his desolate and grief-stricken family who today sadly mourn his loss. To know him was to love and respect him for his many virtues, and he is today remembered by a host of friends and acquaintances who followed his remains to the burial ground, and keep fresh and green his memory. Mrs. Kerlin and family removed to Franklin on September 8, 1887, in order to give her children an opportunity of securing good education. She is a woman who was a fit companion for her deceased husband, and is no doubt able to complete the life-work begun and laid down by her husband that of rearing and making good men and women of their children. Mrs. Kerlin is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 624.