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348 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
of seven children, of whom one son, Jonathan, died in childhood. Of the six who grew to maturity, five are yet living -- Mary, Phoebe, William W., Elijah P. and Hugh H., all with the exception of Elijah P. who lives in Owen County, being residents of Vermillion County. Hugh H. Conley was reared to the vocation of a farmer. He was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, enlisting September 9, 1862, in the Eighteenth Indiana Infantry, and during his term of service participated in some of the most important events of the war. He was in the siege of Vicksburg, after which he took part with his regiment in Banks's Texas expedition. He re-enlisted with his regiment, January 1, 1864, at Indianola, Texas, and came home on a furlough. At this time a part of the Nineteenth Corps, to which his regiment belonged, had been transferred to the eastern army and at the expiration of their furlough the members of the regiment joined General Sheridan, and took part in the famous Shenandoah campaign, participating in the battles of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, where Sheridan made his famous ride. At the last mentioned battle Mr. Conley received a severe gunshot wound in the left leg which resulted in his being sent to McClellan hospital near Philadelphia, and from there transferred to the hospital at Indianapolis, where, after undergoing a siege of small-pox, together with the sufferings occasioned by his wound, he was discharged May 24, 1865, for disability, after the war had closed, but before the final discharge of his regiment. After the war Mr. Conley attended school for some time, first at Bloomingdale academy, and later at the State Normal at Terre Haute. After leaving school he engaged in teaching, pursuing at the same time the study of law. He continued to teach school until he engaged in the practice of law in 1877, in which year he was admitted to the bar at Newport. J. C. Sawyer has been associated with him in the practice of his profession since November, 1886, under the firm name of Conley & Sawyer, and like his partner Mr. Conley, is a self-made man. Mr. Conley married MIss Mary A. Saunders, a daughter of Doctor Edward and Mary Saunders, both of whom are deceased, the latter dying shortly after her daughter's birth, and the former when she was a mere child. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Conley, of whom their eldest, Lulu M., died in infancy. Those living are -- Paul H., Carl H., William B. and Edith A. In politics Mr. Conley is a Republican. He held the office of superintendent of schools of Vermillion County for three years, at the end of which time he resigned that position to take the office of prosecuting attorney, a position he creditably filled for four years. Mr. Conley is a member of the Odd Fellows order, and is a comrade of Shiloh Post, G. A. R., at Newport.



JAMES E. KNOWLES, a prominent and enterprising citizen of Clinton, Vermillion County, was born at the family homestead in Scott Township, Vanderburg County, Indiana, December 28, 1830. His parents, Charles and Mary Ann (Maidlow) Knowles, were natives of England, and when young were brought to America by their respective parents, who settled in Vanderburg County in its pioneer days. The subject was reared to a farm life and was early inured to hard work, but the lessons of persevering industry learned in those days, have been of lasting benefit to him. Being of an adventurous spirit, Mr. Knowles, in company with others, chartered a steamer in 1852, and loading the same with ox teams and provisions embarked


Biographical Sketches - 349
for St. Joseph, Missouri, and from there went overland to California, leaving the Missouri River May 27, and reaching their destination August 25. They immediately engaged in placer mining, which they followed successfully nearly three years. Mr. Knowles returned via the Nicaraugua route, reaching home July 3, 1855. In 1856 he in company with his brother, Charles B., and Luke Grant, engaged in the milling and dry goods business in Warrick County and erected a mill at a cost of $10,000. In the spring of 1859 the mill was destroyed by fire and the company was practically bankrupted. In the fall of 1860 the brothers in company with Arthur McJohnson, raised means from their friends, and built a flat-boat which they loaded with 5600 bushels of corn, and in February 1861, started for the Lower Mississippi River markets. They reached Memphis the day after the inaugural message of President Lincoln was received, and there found the excitement intense. They disposed of their cargo, and received in settlement checks on New Orleans banks. They were so fortunate as to sell all their corn and even the boat and to get their checks cashed only the day before the banks of New Orleans suspended payment. Mr. Knowles made the return trip to Louisville, Kentucky, on the steamer Autocrat the last boat passing between those points until the opening of the Mississippi River after the war, permitting it again in the language of President Lincoln to "pass unvexed to the sea." The same season, 1861, Mr. Knowles and his brother established a grocery at Clinton. In 1862 they raised at a great profit twenty acres of tobacco on rented land, and the next year they raised a still larger crop. In the spring of 1864 they bought eighty acres of land at $25 per acre adjoining the city plat, and by platting an addition, and selling lots they have realized a large profit. They also bought 174 acres across the Wabash River at $10 per acre which has proved a profitable investment. The brothers each own a very fine residence, and are near neighbors. Mr. James was first married in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, December 15 1859, to Miss Pluma Wilcox, of Evansville. She was born near Wellington Ohio, in 1835, and being left an orphan at an early age, she was reared by Doctor Wilcox, of Evansville. Her only living child, Morton E., was born April 24, 1862. He is a graduate of the American Veterinary Institute of New York City, and has now a lucrative and increasing practice at Terre Haute. September 25, 1884, Mr. Knowles married Miss Delia Elliot, a native of Indiana born in Knox Township, September 25, 1848, a daughter of Virgil Homer and Caroline (Marks) Elliott. Both of her parents are deceased, her father dying October 8, 1880, aged sixty-eight, and her mother October 9, 1885, aged sixty-one years. In politics Mr. Knowles is an Independent, though of Republican antecedents.



HENRY STURN, an active and enterprising agriculturist engaged in farming on section 26 Helt Township was born in Wurtemberg Germany, the date of his birth being September 4, 1835. He was reared in his native country, and in the spring of 1854 he came to America. He first settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he spent two years. He then spent one year in Butler County, Ohio, and in 1857 came to Vermillion County, where he worked as a hired hand for one year. He then rented land and by industry and good management he was successful in his farming pursuits, and by the assistance of his noble and excellent