Ira T. Gregg, the son of Stephen and Hannah (Clark) Gregg, was born in Franklin County, Ind., April 23, 1828. By tracing his paternal ancestry back as far as is definitely known, he is found to be of Scotch descent. Samuel Gregg, the great grandfather of Ira T., was born in Scotland, in 1699, and at the age of twelve years he emigrated to America, landing at Philadelphia, Penn. He settled in Bucks County, Penn., and resided there until he was twenty-one years old. He then moved to Loudon County, Va., where he was married to Elizabeth Alford. Eight children was the result of this marriage. The names were as follows: Thomas, Rebecca, Priscilla, John, Ann, Iserael, Ruth, and Aaron. Iserael, the sixth child, was the grandfather of Ira T., the subject of this sketch. He became one of the early pioneers of Ohio. Here he married, to whom is not known, and the result of the union was seven children, whose names were as follows: Amos, Ann, Stephen, George, Drusilla, Thomas and Rebecca. Stephen was Ira T. Gregg’s father. He was born March 7, 1777, in Ohio, and died in Franklin County, Ind., May 4, 1837. He was married in Ohio, in 1807, to Hannah Clark, who was born in New Jersey, December 23, 1788, and died in Franklin County, Ind., December 19, 1848. Nothing is known concerning Mr. Gregg’s maternal ancestry, farther back than to his grandmother, Phebe Howard. Her maiden name is not now known, and all that is known concerning her is that she was married four times: first, to Baker; second, to Clark; third to Clark, a cousin of the former Clark, and fourth, to Howard; each of these unions being blessed with children. She died December 20, 1852, in Warren County, Ohio, at the advanced age of ninety-four years. After the marriage of Stephen and Hannah Gregg, they remained in Ohio until their first child was born. Their union was blessed with eleven children. The names are as follows: George, William, Malinda, Clark, Pamela, Aaron, Nancy, Alpheus, Mary Ann, Ira T. and Hiram F., all of whom are deceased, except Ira T., the subject of this sketch. In 1808, the father, mother, and child, set out on horseback from their home in Ohio, the mother carrying her little babe on a pillow in front of her, and in this way they journeyed to what was then the wilds of Indiana,and finally settled in what is now Franklin County. Here Mr. Gregg entered a quarter section of land, upon which he raised his family, and both he and his wife lived until death. He never engaged in any other occupation but farming, except while he was a soldier in the War of 1812. He was quite ingenious, and was particularly skillful in the use of the common ax, broad-ax and the rifle. In politics, he was a whig, and was uncompromisingly opposed to the institution of slavery. In his dealings with his fellow men, he was honorable and just, and during his whole career he never was sued, nor did he ever have occasion to sue any one. Mr. Gregg was a Quaker in faith, but his wife was a zealous Methodist, and in an early day their house was used as a place for public worship. After Mr. Gregg’s death, Mrs. Gregg being rather feeble in health, was not able to attend church away from home at all times. The class was re-organized, and at her request her home was chosen as the place of public worship. It continued to serve this purpose for eleven years without intermission, during which time all the services of the church were held there. These services consisted of regular semi-monthly preaching, a weekly prayer-meeting held every Thursday night, and class-meeting every Sunday. Only one regular protracted meeting was held there during that time. This house was used for any and all purposes for which a church was needed. Watch-night meetings were held; members were received into full connection, while at other times church trials were held and members were expelled; the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, and the ordinance of baptism were administered, and the use of the mourners’ bench was not uncommon, and many were the persons who were happily converted to God at that place. The subject of this sketch was but ten years of age when this class was organized, and witnesses to all these things, having joined the church and become converted at those meetings. Mr. Gregg was a sturdy farmer boy, and received a fair education for his day, by attending the common district schools. He was like most other boys, extremely fond of hunting, and his achievements in that line were extraordinary. Mr. Gregg deserves great credit for the kind and faithful attention he gave to his mother during her declining years. Inasmuch as he was next to the youngest of the children, and the older ones had married and started out in life themselves, the duty of caring for his mother now devolved upon him alone. To add to the responsibility and arduousness of the undertaking, his younger brother was almost a helpless cripple, and this left him to care for and watch over both his mother and brother, and see that their wants were provided for, which he did very faithfully until his mother’s death, and his brother’s three years later. Soon after his mother’s death he was united in marriage, when he was but twenty years of age, to Alzina H. Wilder, of Rush County, Ind. She was the daughter of Seth and Abigail Wilder, and was born in Rush County, Ind., December 6, 1827, and died in Johnson County, Ind., September 24, 1874. After the marriage Mr. Gregg resided on the old homestead until September, 1853, when he bought 160 acres of land in Johnson County, and moved to it. He has since bought eighty acres more, and now owns 240 acres. Here he and his wife lived happily together until September, 1874, when she was called away by death. He remained a widower until January, 1876, when he married Elizabeth L. Shera, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Shafer) Shera, of Decatur County, Ind. She was born in Franklin County, Ind., April 3, 1842. By his first wife Mr. Gregg had four children: Aaron S., Mary Ann, deceased, William A. and George T. Two chldren have been the result of his second marriage. The first died at birth, and the second, Maggie A., is a sprightly young girl of nine years. Mr. Gregg, realizing the unlimited value of an education, has endeavored to give his children a good one. He sent his son, Aaron S., to Asbury University, now known as Depauw; but after two years of study his health failed, and he was compelled to a abandon school. William A. is a scientific graduate from that institution. Both of these sons are now among the leading farmers of Lincoln County, Neb. In politics, Mr. Gregg was first a whig, next a republican, and now he is a very strong prohibitionist. It is one of his peculiar characteristics to put his whole soul into anything in which he is interested, if it involves any principle of right or wrong. He voted the whig ticket in 1852, but was among the first to take steps toward the organization of the republican party, and has since been one of its most loyal supporters, until he became convinced that the party was not able to rid this country of the “liquor traffic,” and he accordingly voted for St. John in 1884. In 1863, Governor Morton commissioned him as a first lieutenant in the “Indiana Legion.” In 1864, he enlisted as a private in the 100-day service, and was made a non-commissioned officer. In religious views, Mr. Gregg has followed in the footsteps of his mother, and has always been a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. When he moved to Johnson County, he placed his membership in the society at Mt. Auburn, and has been an active member ever since, and now has the pleasure of knowing that all his family have followed in his footsteps.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 895.