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426 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
in Parke County. In those days they paid $1.50 per hundred for pork, and corn was sold as low as 8 and 10 cents per bushel along the Wabash, and as there was no market for it, it was shipped by flat-boat to New Orleans. In 1832 the family came to Vermillion County, and located in Helt Township, where our subject was reared, his early life being spent in assisting on the home farm and in attending the subscription school, where he received but a limited education. When a lad of fourteen years he found employment as cook on a keel-boat which carried salt and goods from the Rapids on the Wabash, in low water, to Terre Haute, Covington and La Fayette. When fifteen years old he helped to drive 400 head of hogs to Columbus, Ohio, walking the entire distance home. In early manhood he made five trips to New Orleans on a flat-boat, with produce, returning by steamer to Evansville, Indiana, sometimes making the remaining distance by stage, and sometimes walking home from Evansville. He has always been a great walker, sometimes walking forty miles in one day. In his younger days he raked and bound wheat, keeping up with the cradle, for $1 a day. In one day he raked and bound six acres of oats for Silas Davis, Sr., receiving in payment a twenty-two-gallon vinegar keg, iron bound and painted, which keg is still in his possission. He began life on his own account in limited circumstances. About that time he had gone security for $250, which he had to pay; but by hard work and persevering energy he has succeeded well in his agricultural pursuits, and has now a competence for his declining years. His farm where he resides contains 153 acres of well-improved land, under a fine state of cultivation. Mr. Miller was married June 20, 1841, to Miss Phoebe A. Helt, whose father, Daniel, was among the early settlers of this county. Eight children have been born to them, as follows -- Indiana (deceased), Mary J. (deceased), Daniel, Sylvester, Bloomer, Charles F., Emma and Jacob, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Miller and a number of their children are members of the Methodist Protestant church. In politics he is a Republican.



GEORGE R. HOPKINS, one of the prominent and progressive farmers of Clinton Township, and a much respected citizen, is a native of Illinois, born in Edgar County, November 3, 1851, a son of William and Kesiah Hopkins. The father died many years ago, but his widow still survives, being yet a resident of Edgar County. They were the parents of two children -- Mrs. Cassandra Layton, who lives in Illinois, and George R. The latter was reared to the vocation of a farmer, which he has made his life work, and ranks among the thorough, practical farmers of Vermillion County. He resides on section 17. Clinton Township, where he has a well improved and very productive farm of 120 acres, all under a high state of cultivation, with the exception of thirty-five acres reserved for timber. Mr. Hopkins keeps up with the spirit of the age in availing himself of improved methods in farming. In 1873 Mr. Hopkins was united in marriage to Miss Josephine Skidmore, a daughter of Joshua Skidmore, one of the prominent early settlers of Clinton Township. To this union two children were born, both of whom are deceased -- Ada, who died at the age of three years, and Mary, aged one month. Mrs. Hopkins died in 1876, at the age of twenty-


Biographical Sketches - 427
three years. Mr. Hopkins was again married December 28, 1882, to Miss Annabel Harrison, a daughter of Robert Harrison, and a granddaughter of Benjamin, an early pioneer of Clinton Township. In politics Mr. Hopkins is a Republican, and a strong adherent to the principles of that party.



WILLIAM BALES, farmer and stock-raiser, resides on section 36, Helt Township, where he owns a half interest in 320 acres of valuable land. He was born in Lee County, Virginia, June 22, 1827, a son of George Bales, who was born [in] the valley of the James River, in Virginia, and in 1830 brought his family to Indiana, and settled on what is now the farm of his son William. At the time of his settlement in Vermillion County it was a heavily timbered tract, and was infested with deer, wolves, wild cats and other animals. William Bales was reared in the midst of the wildness, and in his early life was obliged to undergo many hardships unknown to the young people of Vermillion County to-day. He began to assist his father when very young, and as he was only allowed to attend school when his services were not required at home, his education was limited; but he has taken an interest in the affairs of his county, and is well posted on all topics of general importance. He learned the carpenter's trade when a young man, and has followed it in connection with the cultivation of his farm, and has built many of the best houses in his neighborhood. Mr. Bales was married February 28, 1862, to Ann Anderson, daughter of Calvin Anderson. To Mr. and Mrs. Bales have been born nine children, all at home -- Pharaba, Effie, Esther, Myrtle, Ida, George, Mattie, Wilhelmina and Mary. Mr. Bales is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He and his wife are members of the United Brethren church.



J. MARTIN SMITH, one of Highland Township's active and enterprising citizens, was born in Blair County, Pennsylvania, in 1834. He was reared to manhood in his native State, remaining there until twenty years of age, when he went to Galion, Crawford County, Ohio, remaining there until 1865. Mr. Smith was engaged in railroading for twenty-five years, and during the last fifteen years of that time he was engineer on the Wabash road. He resided  in Springfield,, Illinois, until 1880, since which time he has been a resident of Vermillion County. He was married in 1876 to Miss Isabella Barnett, a daughter of George W. and Jane (Moore) Barnett. She was born on the old homestead, where she still lives, in 1845. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of two children, named Florence and Pearl. Both parents of Mrs. Smith were representatives of early pioneer families, and the Barnett family has long been recognized among the progressive families of Vermillion County, Illinois. James Barnett, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Smith, was of Irish descent. He married a Miss O'Connell, an Irish lady, and reared a large family. He spent the greater part of his life in Pennsylvania, where he died, and soon after his death his widow removed with her family to Kentucky. George Barnett, Sr., the grandfather of Mrs. Smith, also reared a large family, six sons, James D., Robert E., William R., John M. George W. and Elbert, and two daughters, grew to maturity, all being natives of Kentucky. The father removed from Kentucky with all his family but James, who was en-