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412 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
has three children -- Lelia, Edna, and an infant daughter yet unnamed. George married Ella Casebeer and they have one child, named Mervin. Robert married Ella Pearman. Mr. James has served his township as assessor two terms, and during the present year acted as assistant assessor. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, an organization in which he takes an active interest. He is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a respected citizen of Vermillion County.



PAYTON M. MERRIMAN, decceased, was one of the enterprising farmers of the early days of Vermillion County. He was born in Tennessee, January 16, 1806, a son of Jesse and Mary Merriman, and when a young man came to Indiana, and settled in Vermillion County. He owned at his death ninety-nine acres on section 9, Vermillion Township, and eighty acres on another section. He died in May, 1856, leaving many friends to mourn his loss. He was married September 8, 1831, in Tennessee, to Anna Campbell, who was born January 16, 1808, and died September 28, 1839. To them were born five children -- Mary E., wife of James Horlin; Jane, widow of William Nichols; Martha, deceased; Matilda, wife of Eldridge Horlin; and Rachel, deceased. April 5, 1840, Mr. Merriman married Julia A. Sears, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Hoffstetten) Sears, natives of Kentucky. They had a family of five children -- Isabel, Amanda, John M., R. T. and Bruce E. Amanda married Allen Frazer and has two children -- Ure M., and James H. Bruce married Alice Rice, and has two children -- Collett and Jessie. John M. resides on the homestead with his mother, and has charge of the farm, which contains ninety acres of valuable land. In politics Mr. Merriman was a Democrat. He and his wife were among the first members of the Methodist church in Vermillion County.



PHILO HARKNESS, residing on section 34, Clinton Township, was born in Allegany County, New York, August 29, 1816, a son of Robert and Roxalana (Boyce) Harkness, the father born in Maine, and the mother in the State of New Hampshire. They were married in New Hampshire, and after the birth of their two eldest children, they removed to Allegany County, New York, where four children were born to them. In 1825 the father decided to workk his way to the west with his family to see if he could better their circumstances, he being a poor man. The following winter was spent at Rochester, New York, where their youngest child was born. A short time was then spent at Buffalo, New York, when the family came to Indiana, reaching Fort Harrison Prairie in August, 1826. For several years Mr. Harkness was compelled to make changes of residence to find work to support his family, but his home was always in Vigo County. He died in the fall of 1832, his widow surviving until 1846. She died at the home of our subject. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harkness -- Almira, deceased; Mary died aged twelve years, the year the family came to Indiana; Rossel; Philo, the subject of this sketch; Ophelia, deceased; Amanda, and Roxie, deceased. Philo Harkness has lived in Western Indiana from the age of ten years. At the age of sixteen years he was thrown upon his own resources by the death of his father, and has never owned a dollar not honestly earned by


Biographical Sketches - 413
himself. He was united in marriage September 19, 1844, to Miss Lurana Ward, a native of Tennessee, born September 12, 1824, a daughter of Elijah M. Ward. Her parents settled in Indiana when she was a child of six years. Both are now deceased. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Harkness as follows -- Mary died after her marriage leaving a family; Albert; Laura; Elizabeth, died aged seventeen years; Harrison, Nancy, Morton, Tina and Tena (twins), the latter dying in infancy. Mr. Harkness has a valuable farm of 145 acres, most of which he entered from the Government, and it has been his home ever since his marriage. By industry, economy and good management he has succeeded well in life, winning a good name, and a competence sufficient to spend his declining years in comfort.



JONATHAN E. ELLIS, farmer and stock-raiser, section 9, Vermillion Township, was born in Vermillion County, Illinois, December 3, 1841, a son of Levi and Mary (Haworth) Ellis, his father a native of Ohio, of Scotch and Welsh ancestry, and his mother of Indiana, of Scotch-Irish descent. The father moved to Vermillion County, Illinois, in 1836. The parents were married January 10, 1838, and reared a family of five children, three of whom are living -- Rebecca, wife of George F. Hoskins; Jonathan E., and Susanna, wife of Micajah Haworth. One son, William F., was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion, and was wounded at Chickamauga, catured, and died in Andersonville prison. Their eldest son, Richard H., was a prominent citizen of Eugene Township. The father died in Vermillion County, Illinois. April 27, 1847, aged thirty-five years, and the mother in 1864. After the death of his father, Jonathan Ellis was brought to Vermillion County, Indiana, and remained here ten years. He then returned to Illinois and remained there three years, then came back to this township, where he was living at the breaking out of the Rebellion, and in 1862 he enlisted in Company C, Seventy-third Illinois Infantry, and served three years. He participated in the battles at Perrysville, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Rocky Face Gap, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and many others of less importance. He was discharged at Camp Butler and returned home at the close of the war. He was married September 1, 1870, at Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, to Kate E. Linder, daughter of Samuel and Lucinda (Neice) Linder, her father a native of Ohio, and her mother of Pennsylvania, both of German descent. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis have two children -- William F. and Samuel L. Mr. Ellis settled on the farm where he now lives November 4, 1884. He owns 132 acres of valuable land, all under cultivation, and his improvements are among the best in the township, and his residence a large brick building. In politics Mr. Ellis affiliates with the Republican party. He and his family are members of the society of Friends.



JOHN S. KEARNS, a worthy representative of one of the old and honored pioneer families of Vermillion County, is engaged in general farming on section 4, Helt Township, where he has forty-two acres of valuable land. His father, William Kearns, was born in Virginia, a son of William Kearns, who immigrated to Kentucky as a slave holder in an early day. William Kearns, Jr., left his father's home when sixteen years old,