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354 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
tain County, Indiana, the date of his birth being March 17, 1853. He was about three years of age when brought by his parents to this county, where he has since lived. His father being a farmer, he was reared to the same occupation, becoming a thorough, practical agriculturist. He now owns and occupies the homestead farm which contains 150 acres of well improved and highly cultivated land.



HUGH DALLAS, deceased, was one of the well known pioneers of Vermillion County. He was born in Knox County Ohio, in 1813, a son of Alexander and Sarah Dallas. He commenced life in moderate circumstances. He came to Vermillion County in 1840, and bought a large amount of land which increased in value and at the time of his death he was one of the wealthies men in Vermillion Township. He was an honorable, upright business man and gained the confidence and esteem of all with whom he had any deal. He died September 17, 1875, leaving a large number of friends to mourn his loss and his memory is revered by all who knew him, especially the old settlers who remember his many kindly acts and hearty assistance in their times of need.  Mr. Dallas was married in Ohio County, Virginia, in the year 1834, to Miss Sarah Hardesty, who was born in Knox County, Ohio, in 1815. To them were born nine children, eight of whom lived till maturity, and five are now living. The children in order of their birth are as follows -- Mary C. T., deceased; Spencer H., Hugh A., deceased; William Henry Harrison, Sarah R., Mrs. Virginia C. Hain, deceased; Martha J., wife of James Chips; Ruth A. and an infant son, deceased. James Chips and wife have had born to them seven children -- Mary, Lura, William Spencer, Samuel, and three who died in infancy. They reside in Newport.



JOSHUA LEWIS, general merchant, Cayuga, is a native of Vermillion County, Indiana, born in Highland Township, January 1, 1843, a son of James J. Lewis, a native of Maryland, who settled in Highland township in 1837, where he still resides. Our subject was reared to the avocation of a farmer, and his education was received principally in the Perrysville graded school. He subsequently engaged in teaching school, which he followed for fifteen years, teaching seven years in Cherokee County, Kansas. He served two years in the late war in Company H, Twentieth Indiana Infantry, and during his term of service participated in the pattle of Fort Hatteras, the seven days in front of Richmond, and other engagements. He also witnessed the fight between the Monitor and the Merrimac. March 30, 1865, he was married to Miss Marinda Harrison, a daughter of Thomas H. Harrison, one of the old pioneers of this county, who made his way up the Wabash from Vincennes by poling a flatboat.  Mr. and Mrs. Lewis are the parents of five children -- Frank E., Cassie, Henry W., Marinda E. and William J. Mr. Lewis engaged in the mercantile business at Gessie, this county, in 1881. He established his present business at Cayuga in 1886, removing his family to this place in June, 1887. He is now associated in business with his son Frank who is also assistant postmaster. They carry a full line of dry-goods, groceries, provisions, glass and queensware, their capital stock being valued at $3,500, and their annual sales amounting to about $8,000. While living in Kansas Mr. Lewis lacked but two votes of being elected Probate Judge on the


Biographical Sketches - 355
Republican ticket, and at the same election the county went 300 majority for Greeley for President. In politics he still affiliates with the Republican party. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and respected members of society.



OLIVER P. M. PONTON, engaged in farming on section 2, Helt Township, is a worthy representative of an old and honored pioneer family who settled in Vermillion County in the early days of the county. He was born on the family homestead in Helt Township, one-half mile from his present residence, the date of his birth being December 23, 1861, and is a son of the late John Ponton, who was born near Chillicothe, Ohio, being brought to this county when but four years of age. The father being a farmer, our subject was reared to the same avocation which he has made his life work. He received his education in the common schools of the county. He was united in marriage September 30, 1885, to MIss Mary A. Amos, a daughter of William H. Amos, a resident of Montezuma, Indiana, and to this union one child has been born, named John W., who died at the age of six months. Mrs. Ponton is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Montezuma.



LEWIS H. BECKMAN, engaged in the grocery business at Clinton, and one of the active and enterprising business men of the town, is a native of Vermillion County, Indiana born November 16, 1841. His parents, Henry and Mary Beckman, were born, reared and married in Germany, coming to the United States soon after their marriage. They landed at New Orleans, where they formed the acquaintance of James Davis, whose home was near Newport, Vermillion County. The father was a blacksmith by trade, and being induced to come to this county, he followed that avocation in Vermillion Township until a short time before his death, which occurred in 1844. His wife had died the year before. Lewis H. Beckman, whose name heads this sketch, believes himself to be the only living epresentative of his branch of the family in America. His brother, John, who was born while his parents were at New Orleans, shortly after their arrival in America, died at the age of twelve years. After the death of his parents, the subject of this sketch found a good home with the family of James L. Wishard, of Helt Township. He received such educational advantages as the district schools of that early day afforded. In June, 1862, while in his twenty-first year, he volunteered in defense of the Union, enlisting in Company A, Seventy-first Indiana Infantry. August 31 his regiment was in battle at Richmond, Kentucky, and in that engagement Mr. Beckman was shot through the left leg. Many of the unhurt of his regiment were captured and paroled, and all of the wounded, Mr. Beckman with those paroled being sent North, and soon after recovered from the effects of his wound. The regiment was exchanged, and was again in the field before the close of the year 1862, and several months following was engaged in guarding rebel prisoners at Indianapolis. In the summer of 1863 the regiment was recruited and reorganized, and became known as the Sixth Indiana Cavalry. During the operations at and around Knoxville in the winter of 1863-'64 the regiment made part of General Burnside's force. At