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   COORDINATORS:

Joseph W. Strain

Submitted by Pat Asher, Jan 2013
Source: History of Parke and Vermillion Counties, Indiana; (Indianapolis, Indiana: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1913) pp. 441-443.


Joseph W. Strain, president of the First National bank of Clinton, is the scion of the two of the honored old pioneer families of this section of the state. He was born in this county on June 22, 1867, and he is the son of Daniel E. and Mary J. (Helt) Strain, the father born near Findlay, Ohio, from which state he came to indiana very early and settled in Helt township, Vermillion county. The Helt family were among the very earliest settlers here, coming as early as 1818, when the country was a wilderness and the abode of all manner of wild beasts and red men. They settled on what has since been known as Helt prairie, Helt township, both having been named in their honor.

Daniel E. Strain devoted his life to general farming and stock raising in Vermillion county, becoming well established through his industry and he was married in this county. His death occurred in 1903, at the age of seventy-nine years. His widow is still living, being now advanced in years, making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Frances A. Southard. She is a woman of gracious personality and, like her worthy husband before her, has always had a large number of warm friends throughout Vermillion county.

Six children were born to Daniel E. Strain and wife, namely: Isaac H., who lives in Greencastle, Indiana; Frances A., who married Eura Southard, of Vermillion county; Charles H., who lives in Helt township; Elizabeth married Victor Reichwald, of Chicago; James died when twenty years of age; Joseph W., of this review, being the youngest.

Joseph W. Strain grew to manhood in his native county and was educated in the common schools here, later entering the Indiana State Normal School at Terre Haute, from which he was graduated with the class of 1893. He also attended Indiana University and Chicago University. After leaving school he began life for himself by teaching, which he continued with success for a period of fifteen years. For seven years he was principal of the high school at Clinton during which he brought the same up to a very high order of efficiency, discharging the duties of this responsible position in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself and to the eminent satisfaction of both pupils and patrons. As a teacher he kept fully abreast of the times in all that pertained to that vocation and introduced many helpful reforms, placing the local schools on an equal footing with any in the state and winning a reputation as an instructor and manager second to none. Finally tiring of the school room and perceiving a broader field for the exercise of his talents in another direction, Mr. Strain gave up his work as principal of the Clinton high school to take a position in the First National bank of Clinton, of which he has become president, the important duties of which exacting position he has filled in a most able and commendable manner, giving eminent satisfaction to the stockholders and all concerned, his able management and wise counsel resulting in greatly increasing the prestige of this popular and sound institution, one of the most conservative and safe banks in the state, according to those who have investigated its standing. Its other officers are: Edward Shirkie, vice-president; O. F. Houston, cashier; board of directors, F. L. Swinehart, John R. Newton, Edward Shirkie, B. H. Morgan, H. K. Morgan and H. R. McClelland. This bank was organized in 1902, with a capital stock of thirty thousand dollars, and its present surplus is eleven thousand dollars. the stock is all held by local business men.

Mr. Strain was married in 1908 to Grace Little, daughter of Rufus and Emily (Noyes) Little, a highly respected family of Vermillion county. Mrs. Strain was born and reared in Vermillion county, and received a good education in the local schools and is a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute.

Religiously, Mr. Strain is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is treasurer of the board of stewards of the same. Politically, he is a Progressive.