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384 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
to be troubled by their Indian neighbors. It is said that not long before their arrival, in a quarrel between two soldiers, a gun discharged by one of them, missed the other and killed a squaw, and for this the Indians vowed that the first white woman who crossed the Wabash should be killed. Mrs. Vannest therefore became the object of their retaliating vengeance, and two attempts to murder her were frustrated, once by a friendly Indian who had become attached to the family, and other time by the interference of her brother. Mr. Vannest then removed his family for safety to Fort Harrison, but returned himself and prosecuted the work of clearing and preparing his land for crops. Not long after this the trouble with the Indians ceased,  and the family returning to their pioneer home lived ever afterward in peace. Mr. Vannest was possessed of considerable means, and carried on the work of improvement with characteristic energy, and soon became the owner of the entire section, nearly all of which is still in possession of his descendants. It is claimed that from this section over forty men entered the service of the Government during the war of the Rebellion. The Vannest home was the abode of hospitality. Mr. Vannest never turned any one from his door, especially a man in need, and never failed to help the needy if called upon. He was a man who feared nothing, and his true courage was often tested in the early days of the county. Active and energetic he rapidly acquired a good property. In 1835 he built a brick house, two stories in height, where Mrs. Malone now lives, which in those years was considered one of the best residences in Clinton Township. He lived in this house until his death, which occurred September 28, 1842, at the age of sixty-two years, leaving an estate consisting of section 9 (640 acres), besides a farm of 160 acres, also in Clinton Township, and lands in Parke County. Mrs. Mary Vannest died August 29, 1824, aged forty years. The four eldest children of Mr. and Mrs. Vannest are -- Leah, deceased, wife of Carr Malone; Samuel, deceased; Mrs. Sarah Malone and Jane (twins), the latter deceased, wife of Thomas Kibby. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Vannest after coming to Vermillion County are -- John, who was the first white child born in the county; Betsey, deceased, wife of Isaac S. Palmer; Mary married John Jacques, and died in March, 1848; Isaac, living in Helt Township. Mrs. Sarah Malone, whose name heads this sketch, was married January 12, 1834, to Scott Malone, who was born in Butler County, Ohio, June 15, 1808, a son of Hartley Malone. He was reared in his native State, and early in life learned the cooper's trade. He was among the pioneers of Vermillion County, settling in Helt Township in an early day. He became a flat-boatman and a competent river pilot, and followed the rivers many years before and after marriage. He then settled down on the Vannest homestead, and many years afterward rebuilt the old brick house, the foundation of which was becoming unsafe. Mr. Malone died March 30, 1860, and at the time of his death was a member of the Methoist Episcopal church. In politics he was first a Whig, but affiliated with the Republican party from its organization. Mr. and Mrs. Malone were the parents of the following children -- Johnson, now a resident of Clinton; Stuart, who died aged five years; Mary M., died in infancy; Martha J., wife of Henry A. White, died February 6, 1887, leaving four children; Walter S. died December 28, 1886, at the home of his mother aged forty-four years; Ruam died in her twenty-third year in 1867; Morton died in 1883, at the home of his mother, aged thirty-six years;


Biographical Sketches - 385
Fanny married Alonzo Hostetter, and died at Clinton in 1875, aged twenty-five years; John, the youngest is living on the homestead with his mother. He was born January 3, 1853, and April 5, 1875, was married to Miss Rose Aldrich, a daughter of Montorville Aldrich. This union has been blessed with five children, whose names are Fannie, Scott, George, Clyde and Ralph.



JOHN NORRIS, farmer and stock-raiser, resides on section 22, Vermillion Township, where he owns 218 acres of choice land. He is a native of Vermillion County, born November 7, 1834, a son of Robert S. and Martha (Nichols) Norris, natives of South Carolina. The parents came to Indiana in 1830, and settled on the farm now owned by our subject, which at that time was an uncultivated tract of land. On this farm they passed the remainder of their lives, the father
dying in 1877, aged seventy-three years. They had a family of seven children, four of whom are living -- Elizabeth, Caroline, John and Lewis. When they came to Indiana they were poor, but they went bravely to work and by economy and good management accumulated a good property, owning at one time 800 acres of valuable land. John Norris was reared a farmer, and has made agriculture his lifework. He was married in 1858 to Martha Merriman, a native of Tennessee, born in 1837. They had four children -- Clara and Clarissa (twins), the latter being the wife of Benjamin Nicholas; William A. and an infant unnamed. Mrs. Norris died and in 1866 Mr. Norris married Sarah E. French, who was born in Parke County, Indiana, in 1838, a daughter of Philip and Sarah French. They have three children -- Robert S., George and Philip. Mr. Norris is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Lodge No. 320, which he has served as treasurer. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party.



NOAH HEDGES, a representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families of Vermillion County, Indiana, was born in Clinton Township, April 19, 1836. His father, William Hedges, was born in Otsego County, New York, October 24, 1801, and in 1819, when eighteen years old, was in Vermillion County on Government survey. In 1823 he married Pamelia Alden, and directly after his marriage he came to this county and established his residence in Clinton Township, being one of the first settlers, making a permanent home not long afterward on section 25. Here he lived until shortly before his death, which occurred in the city of Clinton, October 24, 1873 on the seventy-second anniversary of his birth. He came to the county in limited circumstances, having not over $200 capital, but being an active, energetic man he soon stood well to the front. He was a carpenter by trade, and often worked at this occupation for 50 cents a day. He became the owner of about 700 acres of land, and after giving his children a good start in life, he left a good estate. He was a man of public spirit, and did much toward developing the resources of the county. In 1844 he erected a saw-mill on Brouillet's Creek, and some time later added to it a grist-mill. Some twenty years afterward he moved his mill to Clinton, and there operated it until his death. During his later years he was a member of the United Brethren church. His widow still survives and is living with her married daughter, Mrs. Alma Shew, near her pioneer home, being now eighty-four years of age. Eleven chil-