J. T. Ragsdale was born in Shelby County, Ky., April 28, 1829, and is the youngest son of Frederick and Sarah (Hunter) Ragsdale, natives of the same state, and of English and German descent, respectively. Frederick and Sarah Ragsdale were married in Kentucky, and resided there until 1834, at which time they immigrated to Johnson County, Ind., and settled in Hensley Township, near the place now owned by the subject. Mr. Ragsdale was a pioneer in the true sense of the word, and bore an active part in the development of the country. He served in the last war with Great Britain, and participated in a number of battles, including the memorable engagement at New Orleans. He was a man of many excellent traits of character, a true Christian, and with his wife, was a charter member of the Baptist Church at Trafalgar. Mr. and Mrs. Ragsdale raised a family of seven children, of whom five are living—all of them residents of Johnson County. J. T. Ragsdale was five years of age when his parents moved to Johnson County, and for a period of over fifty years, has been one of its most highly respected citizens. Having early manifested a decided preference for mechanical pursuits, he selected the carpenter’s trade for a vocation, and after becoming proficient in the same continued the calling for a number of years. In the meantime he came into possession a farm, but not liking farm work he employed help to run the place, and continued his trade almost exclusively until l876. Since that year he has operated a saw-mill, and is doing a large and lucrative lumber business. Mr. Ragsdale is a skillful mechanic, and from childhood has had a natural liking for machinery. He has been successful in his various enterprises, and is a public-spirited citizen, and a liberal supporter of all public enterprises. For several years he has given considerable attention to raising fine poultry, and has now some of the finest breeds in the country. Mr. Ragsdale was married May 20, 1847, to Susan Ann Mullikin, daughter of William and Sarah Mullikin, by whom he had four children, only one of whom, Mrs. Mollie Snow, of Boone County, is now living. Mrs. Ragsdale died March 23, 1853. February 14, 1854, Mr. Ragsdale married Susan Branch, of Oldham County, Ky., who died September 14, 1884. To the second marriage was born one child, a son, Alonzo Ragsdale, now a business man of Trafalgar. Mr. Ragsdale’s third marriage was solemnized with Miss Mary Brunnemer, of Johnson County, daughter of William and Nancy Brunnemer, a union blessed with the birth of one child, Pansy Lynn.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 714.