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370 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
school to represent Vermillion County in the House of Representatives for the sessions of 1833-'35; then was senator from Parke, Vermillion and Warren counties in 1835-'36 and from Parke and Vermillion in 1842-'44. During all his legislative career he served with marked ability; was a member of the standing committees on Finance, Education and Agriculture; and was one of the nine members, including Governor Whitcomb and Calvin Fletcher, who voted against the internal improvement scheme, which afterward proved so disastrous. Although he had had but little opportunity for school education, he acquired studious habits, became posted in history and general literature. Although not a member of any church, he maintained a steadfast faith in the general principles of Christianity, especially the Golden Rule. He died December 28, 1843, at Browning's Hotel, Indianapolis, while serving as State Senator, and the Legislature passed resolutions of sincere respect concerning him, and many members delivered eloquent eulogies. Senator Bradley, for example, said: "By his energy, sagacity of intellect and integrity, which was never soiled by a stain nor darkened by a cloud of suspicion, he deservedly attained a high place in public estimation." Representative Thomas Dowling, of Vigo County said: "As a merchaant he was upright, scrupulously honest direct and plain in his dealings; as a farmer he was distinguished for his good taste and industry; as a neighbor he was kind and obliging; as a friend, firm and steadfast; as a legislator, conscientious, prudent and upright; as a politician, devotedly attached to the great principle of constitutional liberty." On his farm he was a pioneer in the introduction of fine stock, and improved varieties of grain and other farm products. His clover field in 1832 was a curiosity, as it was one of the earliest in the State; and even at that early day he secured short-horn Durhams from the herd of Henry Clay. In 1835 he owned and bred Haserac, the fastest, thoroughbred English race-horse in the West. In 1838-'39 he had herds of fine wooled sheep, Berkshire hogs, etc. Neighbors for a hundred miles around obtained of him improved varieties of live-stock and of grain. In 1822 Mr. Collett married Sarah Groenendyke, of Terre Haute, and their family comprised three sons and five daughters, all of whom are living except two of the daughters. The sons are -- Hon. John Collett, State Geologist, 1879-'84; Stephen S., a successful farmer, and manager of the bank of Collett & Company at Newport, this State; and Josephus, a farmer, merchant, banker, railroad manager, etc., now residing at Terre Haute. (See sketch of these elsewhere in this volume). The daughter, Emily, married Dr. W. G. Montgomery, for several years Senator from Warren County. Mary married J. P. Campbell, deceased, who was a successful merchant and active Republican politician of Crawfordsville; Ellen married D. M. Jones, a Newport (Indiana) attorney, and Representative from Vermillion County of the Legislature during the war; Jennie married James H. Turner, of Terre Haute; and Clara married Crawford Fairbanks, also Terre Haute.



DAVID McBETH, manufacturer of harness, saddles, etc., and dealer in buggies and wagons, Clinton, was born in Logan County, Ohio, August 1, 1845, a son of Robert and Maria (Gunn) McBeth, both of whom were natives of Ohio, and of Scotch and Irish parentage. Robert Gunn, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was Indian agent in Ohio in its pioneer days, and built


Biographical Sketches - 371
the first house at Bellefontaine, that State. The parents of our subject are deceased, the father dying of cholera at St. Louis, Missouri, in 1850, aged thirty-nine years, and the mother at Springfield, Ohio, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. I. A. Hazel, in 1872, in her sixty-third year. They were the parents of six children, of whom David is the youngest. His two brothers are deceased. His sisters are -- Mrs. Maria Bane, of Battle Creek, Michigan; Minerva Goodale, also living in Battle Creek, Michigan, and Mrs. Hazel, living in Denver, Colorado. David spent his youth in Richland, a small town in Logan County. In July, 1861, he went to Columbus, Ohio, to learn the harness trade. In February, 1864, he enlisted in Company K, Third United States Cavalry, serving a term of three years. The regiment first had headquarters at Little Rock, Arkansas, and later while Mr. McBeth was with it at Fort Sheldon, New Mexico. In February, 1867, he was discharged from the service of the United States, and resumed work at his trade, saddle and harness making, at Columbus, Ohio, at which he had previously served an apprenticeship, commencing when sixteen years old. In March, 1869, he came to Clinton, establishing his present business at this place. In 1870 he returned to Ohio for his bride, Miss Jennie Harsha, whom he married at Bellefontaine, October 5, 1870. She is a native of Pennsylvania, born April 6, 1846. Her father died many years ago, and her mother, Mrs. Mary P. Harsha, now Mrs. Burns, is living at Charlevoix, Michigan. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McBeth, of whom only two are living, named Mabel and Mary. Both Mr. McBeth and wife are members of the Presbyterian church. In politics he has always voted the Republican ticket. Mr. McBeth is a man of splendid business qualifications, and by his strict attention to his trade he has established a large business, and by his fair and honorable dealings has gained the confidence and esteem of all who know him.



JOHN WESLEY CASEBEER, retired farmer and merchant, Hillsdale, was born in Mansfield, Ohio, January 22, 1831, a son of John Casebeer who was a blacksmith by trade. The subject of this sketch was educated in the Mansfield public shools. He came to Vermillion County, Indiana, in November, 1849, in his nineteenth year, crossing the Wabash River at Raccoon Ferry. He remained in the county but a few days, when he went to Coles (now Douglas) Countym illinois, five miles below Newman, where his counsin, John Casebeerm now resides. He returned to Mansfield in the fall of 1851, making the trip on horseback. In 1853 he came again to this county and settled in Helt Township, where he has since made his home. He was married August 27, 1855, to Martha Rush, a daughter of Samuel Rush, who was one of the early settlers of the county, and one of the first school-teachers of Helt Township. Six children have been born to this union, of whom four are yet living -- Alvin B., married Miss Annie Fultz, and lives near Eugene, this county; John W., Jr., married Miss Jennie McDole, and lives on the old homestead near Hillsdale; Ithimer M. entered DePauw University, September 14, 1887; Mary A. married George James, of Hillsdale, and they are the parents of one child named Mervin E. When the Evansville, Terre Haute & Chicago (now the Chicago & Eastern Illinois) Railroad was being built, Mr. Casebeer was a contractor on the road, building one mile of the grade. He engaged in the saw-mill business in Hillsdale in 1870,