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358 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
of this town. To this union two children have been born, named Robert A. and Martha E. In politics Mr. Parrett is a pronounced Republican.



THOMAS KIBBY has been a resident of Clinton Township since 1830, and for many years one of its active and energetic citizens. He was born in Clarke County, Indiana, February 8, 1810, a son of Lucius Kibby, a New Englander by birth. When young the father visited Canada, where he was seized and pressed into the British army, and was compelled to serve a short time before he found an opportunity to escape and return to his home in New England. He was a son of Amariah Kibby, a ship carpenter by trade, which he also learned in early life and became proficient in all kinds of wood-work. He worked for a time at Fort  Pitt, now Pittsburgh, and there built a flat-boat for himself, and with his family passed down the river to Fort Washington now Cincinnati, Ohio, thence to the Falls of the Ohio in Clarke County, where Thomas Kibby was born. Being of an adventurous spirit he volunteered and fought under General Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe, November 5, 1811. During his residence in Clarke County, the Indians were hostile, and many an adventure and narrow escape he and his family had with them. In 1814 he moved his family to the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee, where he was engaged as a builder three years, and was defrauded of nearly $3,000 due on contract work, by his employer. In 1817 he left Tennessee, coming to Indiana, when he settled with his family near Terre Haute, in the Wabash Valley. He erected, under contract, the first frame building at Terre Haute. In 1818 he removed to Parke County, Indiana, where he cleared a farm from the forest, remaining there a few years, when he went to Clark County, Illinois, and from there to Dubuque County, Iowa, where he lived until his death, at the advanced age of eight-five years. Thomas Kibby, whose name heads this sketch, was the youngest of his four children, and is the only one now living. When he was quite young his mother died, and although his father married again, he hardly had a home. His schooling was very limited, and the care and advantages so common to the boys of to-day were denied him. At the age of thirteen years he left his father's home and began the battle of life for himself, and his lessons were well learned in the school of experience. He early in life became a self-reliant man, strong both mentally and physically. Like many of the adventurous young of those years he became a boatman, making his first trip to New Orleans at the age of eighteen years. In 1831 he became a pilot, and began with increased wages to save money. He has made over sixty trips to New Orleans. August 4, 1833, he was married to Miss Jane Vannest who was born in Ohio, August 6, 1812, and who died March 20, 1880. Her father, John Vannest, was the first settler of Vermillion County having settled on section 9, Clinton Township, as early as 1816. To Mr. and Mrs. Kibby were born eight children, as follows -- John and Martin died in infancy; Isaac, living near his father; Sarah Jane died aged ten years; Elizabeth died aged twelve years; Stuart died in infancy; Thomas A., residing with his father, and Susan W., who was a school-teacher, died aged twenty-three years. Thomas A. was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, enlisting October 9, 1861, and was in the service of his country for three years. March 12 1882, he was united in marriage to Miss Josie Lyday, a native of


Biographical Sketches - 359
Vermillion County, born December 16, 1858, and they are the parents of two children -- John Vannest and Jane. Since he abandoned flat-boating, Mr. Kibby has devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits. He has occupied his present farm on section 9, Clinton Township, since 1862. The homestead is located one mile north of Clinton, and contains ninety acres of choice land, and is part of the estate of his father-in-law, John Vannest. Besides this farm Mr. Kibby owns a good farm of 220 acres, located on sections 7 and 8 of Clinton Township.



JOHN T. PONTON, deceased, was born in Ohio, January 30, 1830, a son of Obediah Ponton, who was a Virginian by birth. He was brought to Vermillion County, Indiana, in the fall of 1833, by his widowed mother, she locating on section 3, Helt Township, on the land now occupied by the widow of our subject. Here he was reared amid the scenes and incidents of pioneer life, attending school in the primitive log cabins with their puncheon floor and clapboard roof, where he received but a limited education. He was married August 5, 1860, to Miss Polly Kearns, a daughter of William Kearns, and a native of Helt Township, born in 1835. Mr. Kearns setttled in Helt Township in 1831. He spent the last six years of his life in Montezuma, indiana, where he died September 9, 1884. To Mr. and Mrs. Ponton were born three children, of whom two are living, Oliver P. M. and William S., the latter living on the old homestead with his mother. Mr. Ponton died August 8, 1886, his death causing universal regret throughout the community where he had lived for so many years. He was a kind and affectionate husband and father, being strongly attached to his home and family. He was a consistent Christian, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for thirty-five years.



JAMES ROBERTS, one of the prominent men of Vermillion County, at present engaged in mercantile pursuits at Clinton, is a native of Edgar County, Illinois, born February 13, 1844. His father was a native of Ireland, coming to the United States when twenty-six years of age. The mother of our subject, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Beers, was born at Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1799. She was first married in Onondaga County, New York, to Isaac Carman, and in 1836 came with her husband to Clinton. Mr. Carman died a few years later, leaving his widow with four children -- Jotham, the eldest, went to the Mexican war and has never since been heard from; Mrs. Emeline Bradshaw, the second child, lives in Clinton; Mrs. Mary Freeman lives in Coles County, Illinois, and Jonathan resides at Eugene City, Oregon. Mrs. Carman and John Roberts were married in Edgar County, Illinois, in 1842. He died in 1856. She retained her mental and physcial vigor to a remarkable degree until her death which occurred October 31, 1887, aged eighty-eight years. She made her home with the subject of this sketch, who is the only child of her second marriage. James Roberts was reared to a farm life, and in his youth received a good common-school education. February 3, 1864, he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Indiana Infantry, and participated in General Schofield's corps in the Atlanta Campaign in which his regiment did gallant service, takiing part in the battles of Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Chattahoochie River, and the battles