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432 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana
the old log school-houses where he received his limited education. Like the youth of his early day, he was inured to hard toil when quite young. His father built a small mill, which he operated in connection with his farm, and this furnished plenty of work for his boys. He died after the close of the war at the advanced age of eighty years. His wife died some six years before. Of their family, Eli was the fourth child. Two of their sons, named Henry and Joel, are still residents of Clinton Township. With the exception of a short residence, from the spring of 1856 until the fall of that year, in Richland County, Wisconsin, and from that time to the spring of 1857 spent in Jones County, iowa, Eli Shew lived in Clinton Township from the time of his coming here with his parents, and always in the neighborhood of his father's pioneer home. April 4, 1847, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Adaline Hedges, a daughter of William and Permelia Hedges. She was born on their homestead in Clinton Township, near her present home, August 23, 1825. Mr. and Mrs. Shew commenced housekeeping in limited circumstances, but by their industrious and frugal habits, they succeeded in making a good home for their family. The homestead contains 110 acres of choice land, of which sixty acres are well improved, and under good cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Shew had eight chldren born to them. The eldest, Mrs. Permelia A. Tennis, lives in Clinton Township. Two children, named Clarinda and Leonard M., died in early childhood. Lurena, deceased wife of William P. Atkins, left at her death a family of seven children. William D. is living with his parents. Milton P., the sixth child, died young. John E. married Margaret E. Bright and lives in Clinton Township. Edwin N. married Betty L. Foltz, and they are living with Mrs. Shew. In politics Mr. Shew was a member of the Greenback party, but of Whig and Republican antecedents. Mrs. Shew is a member of the Missionary Baptist church.



WILLIAM HUGHES, one of the successful agriculturists of Highland Township, residing on section 28, is a representative of one of the pioneer families of Vermillion County. His father, Constantine Hughes, was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, January 10, 1782, where he grew to manhood, and married Miss Hannah Gifford. Fourteen children were born to them, of whom ten reached maturity, and of these only three are living -- Ehud, living in Vermillion County; Constantine, residing in Nebraska, and William, the subject of this sketch. In 1829 the father immigrated with his family to Indiana, locating first at Clinton, Vermillion County, where he remained until the following spring. The family then lived in the vicinity of Perrysville about six months, when they settled on the land now owned and occupied by our subject. Here the parents lived until their death, the father dying May 23, 1848, and the mother January 7, 1857. They were much esteemed among the early settlers for their many excellencies of character, and for many years were faithful members of the Baptist church. In his political views the father was a Democrat. William Hughes, whose name heads this sketch, was born on the homestead where he now lives, the date of his birth being November 9, 1830, this having been his home for fifty-seven years. Mr. Hughes has been twice married, taking for his first wife Miss Cynthia Ann Smith, a daughter of James Smith, one of the early settlers of the county. She died in 1856, leaving three children -- Harvey, now living in Kansas; John, in


Biographical Sketches - 433
Highland Township, and James W. Mr. Hughes was married a second time to Miss Hester Ann Spry, who was born in Highland Township in 1834, her father, David Spy, coming to the county in an early day, and is now living at Perrysville. Her mother died many years ago. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Hughes six are living -- Martha E., David M., Annie J., Charles G., Albert and Oral. Their fourth child, a son, died in infancy. Mr. Hughes has always followed agricultural pursuits in which he has met with excellent success. He has 212 acres of choice land where he resides, 167 acres of which was the old homestead of his father. Beside his home farm he owns other land in Highland Township, having altogether 455 acres of choice land. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party, although he believes in voting for the man best fitted for office regardless of party ties. In matters of moral and social progress he is among the leading citizens of his county.



ABEL SEXTON, a prominent and enterprising citizen of Vermillion County, with whose interests he has been identified for many years, is a native of Oneida County, New York, a son of Isaac J. Sexton, a native of Connecticut. The Sexton family are of French origin, and among the early settlers of Connecticut. When our subject was young he was taken by his father to Fulton County, New York, his mother having died in Oneida County, the father making his home in Fulton County until his death. He was twice married, and by his first wife had a family of four children -- Mrs. Mary Ann Bingham of Columbus, Wisconsin; Abel, the subject of this sketch; Andrew O., a grain merchant of Columbus, Wisconsin, and the present mayor of that city, and Ralph, the youngest son, now lives in Gloversville, Fulton County, New York. Abel Sexton grew to manhood in Fulton County, and his father being a farmer he was reared to the same avocation. The farm being small and there being a number of sons in the family, he decided to try some other vocation, and early in life began learning the carpenter's trade, but soon after entering upon his trade he accepted a situation with an auctioneer, with whom he traveled about the country in the pursuit of his business. This occurred in 1840, when he was about twenty years old. He subsequently traveled in his business as auctioneer with the circus of Raymond, Waring & Co., which was traveling through the country at that time, going with it as far as Cincinnati, several months being consumed in making the trip. He left the circus at Cincinnati, and traveled to Kentucky, and the following season he and a young man from New York State, with whom he traveled, decided to return to their native State, and accordingly set out on horseback, reaching their destination about a month later. After spending a few weeks at his home, Mr. Sexton returned to Kentucky, where he continued auctioneering for some time. About 1843 he came to Indiana, locating first at LaFayette, and in the month of October, 1844, he came to Newport, where he spent four years. He then went to Columbus, Wisconsin, where his brother lived, and after remaining there about four years he returned to Newport, where he has since made his home. Mr. Sexton was married at Newport to Miss Lucretia Blanchard, November 5, 1845. Mrs. Sexton was born in Perry County, Indiana, May 21, 1826, and in September of the same year her father, William Blanchard, came to Vermillion County and settled in Vermillion Township, where he died about two years