Benjamin Draper, an honored citizen of Pleasant Township, was born in Dearborn County, this state, July 2, 1818, and was the son of Thomas and Catharine (Harbert) Draper, the former of whom was born in Botetourt County, Va., and was the son of Thomas and Priscilla Draper. The latter was born in Pennsylvania, and was the daughter of Ebenezer Harbert. Before the subject of this sketch was five years old his parents removed to Decatur County, this state, where he grew to manhood on a farm. In 1840, he came to Johnson County, a single man, and engaged in agricultural pursuits in Clark Township. A year later he removed to Pleasant township, where he was similarly engaged three years. In the latter part of 1844, he returned to Decatur County. In the spring of 1858, he again came to this county, and moved into his present home on the 1st day of March of that year. His attention has always been given to farming. He has three fish ponds on his farm, which are well stocked with different varieties of carp, and to these Mr. Draper gives his personal attention. He owns 200 acres of good land, of which 120 acres are in Pleasant Township, and eighty in Clark Township. About 150 acres of his land are in cultivation. Mr. Draper was married October 4, 1841, to Elizabeth Wheeling. She was born in Henry County, Ky., December 21, 1821, and was the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Vanhorn) Wheeling. Their marriage resulted in the birth of thirteen children, as follows: the first was a daughter, born January 5, 1833[sic], died when but one day old; Thomas M., February 6, 1844; Oliver H., February 6, 1846; Mahlon B., April 5, 1848; Miranda, November 3, 1849, deceased; infant daughter, June 20, 1851, deceased; Harriet H., September 11, 1872, deceased; Clara M., born May 21, 1854; Mary L., January 29, 1856; George W., October 24, 1857; Benjamin F., born November 7, 1859; John W., born September 10, 1861, and Lennie L., November 16, 1865, deceased. The wife of Mr. Draper died August 16, 1887. She was a member of the Christian Church. In politics, Mr. Draper was formerly a whig, but since 1856, he has been an ardent republican. He cast his first presidential vote for Harrison. Mr. Draper is an honest man, and he is one of the county’s most highly respected citizens. All of the children are living, except Mahlon B.; are members of the Christian Church. Harriet H. was a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 784.