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440 - History of Vermillion County Biographical and Historical Record of
Vermillion County, Indiana

health. He was strictly temperate in all things, and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years. His widow is still living on the homestead on which he settled over fifty years ago. Enoch George Sparks, whose name heads this sketch, was reared at the homestead, to the vocation of a farmer, and has always made his home in Highland Township. He now resides on section 16, where he has a fine farm, and a pleasant home. His farm is one of the finest improved in his township, as may be indicated by the fact that he has expended about $5,000 in improvements. Before her marriage the name of Mrs. Sparks was Miss Susannah Cossey, she being a daughter of Peter Cossey, who settled in Highland township among the early pioneers. Mr. and Mrs. Sparks have five children living named -- Mary Luella, wife of Daniel Gouty; Edith, Enoch George, Elizabeth and Grace. Their eldest child, Peter Franklin, died at the age of five years. Politically Mr. Sparks casts his suffrage with the Republican party.



WILLIAM N. HOSFORD, a member of the firm of Hosford & Bell, general merchants, Eugene, was born in Eugene Township, Vermillion County, Indiana February 3, 1858, his father, Lemon Hosford, being a native of the State of New York. He spent the first thirteen years of his life on his father's farm, and his education was obtained in the schools at Pana, Illinois. He engaged in the mercantile business at Eugene in February, 1879, in which year the present firm was formed. They carry on two stores now, having in the fall of 1887 added a large dry goods, clothing and grocery establishment to their already extensive business, their other store containing drugs, paints, oils, groceries, etc. Both members of the firm are active business men, and by their accommodating manners, and strict attention to the wants of their customers, they have built up a good trade which is steadily increasing. Mr. Hosford was postmaster of Eugene from 1879 until 1886. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He was married in April, 1880, to Miss Anna Boyd, a daughter of the late Josiah Boyd, and to them have been born two children, named Fred and Hazel.



EPHRAIM SHUTE, one of the successful agriculturists of Highland Township, resides near Howard Chapel, where his father, Richard Shute, settled in the year 1829. Richard Shute and his wife, Hannah (McCartney) Shute, had a family of fifteen children, all yet living with the exception of two daughters, Minerva and Rebecca. The names of those yet living are -- William, living in Illinois; Daniel, John, Ephraim and John, residents of Highland Township, Vermillion County; Mahala, wife of William Nicholas; Sarah Ann, widow of Peter Cossey; Susan, wife of Reece A. Raburn; Marian, wife of Rezin Howard, living in Missouri; Mrs. Elizabeth Gouty, and three sons. Joseph, Richard and Harrion, living in Missouri. Ephraim Shute, the subject of this sketch, was born in the State of Ohio in 1827, and was but two years old when his parents immigrated to Vermillion County. He was reared on the homestead to the vocation of a farmer, and has resided on the same place almost sixty years. The farm on which he resides contains 240 acres of well-improved land, under a high state of cultivation, besides which he has fifty acres elsewhere in the same township, and also a half section


Biographical Sketches - 441

of valuable land in Kansas. Mrs. Shute was formerly Miss Elzina Goff, a daughter of David Goff, who was one of the pioneers of Vermillion County. Mr. and Mrs. Shute are the parents of ten children, whose names are as follows -- Martha, David (living in Missouri), Hannah, Aurelia, Elias M., Squire, Philander, Marintha, Marah Helen and Ephraim A., the two latter being deceased. Mr. Shute has always manifested a deep interest in the welfare of his township and county, and every enterprise for the public welfare has had his encouragement and support.



JOHN COLLETT, Sr., was born near Wilmington, Delaware, in 1762, a descendant of an old English family whose traditions say that their remote ancestry came from Normandy to Britain with William the Conqueror, and shared in the division of Saxon property assigned to his favorite warriors. The name Collett is indirectly derived from the ancient Nicholas, though the following intermediate forms: Nicoletus, Coletus, Colet, Collett. A quaint volume now in the library of his grandson, John Collett, of Indianapolis, tells of an ancestral John Colet, who was Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in the reign of Henry VII, and VIII., and founder of St. Paul's School for Boys, and whose father, Sir Henry Colet, while serving his second term as Lord Mayor of London, became treaty bondsman for his monarch, Henry VII., with the Dutch Republic. A branch of the Collett family, who were "Roundheads" with Cromwell for the Commonwealth, left England on the restoration of Charles II., and after a brief sojourn in Ireland two brothers came to America, about the year 1755, landing at Wilmington, Delaware. The family early removed to the valley of the Juniata, in Pennsylvania, and at the age of nineteen years the subject of this memoir became a soldier under Washington. After his marriage to a German lady near the junction of the Juniata and Susquehanna, he made his home among the hills and mountains of Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and found after the lapse of more than fifty years that his mind was happy in reviving the memories of the "bright, blue Juniata, and its rushing, silvery current." In 1800 he removed with his family and little property in a flat-boat down the affluents of the Ohio River, and the river itself, to Lime Rock, opposite the present town of Portsmouth, Ohio. His objective point was the new capital, Chillicothe, and unloading his horses and wagons, he cut out the first road from the landing to Chillicothe, which road was long known as "Collett's Trail." When the seat of government was removed to Columbus, he went with his family, and erected the first shingle-roof house in that place, which is now a considerable city. He was appointed to several public trusts in both these towns. At that time he kept tavern, before "hotels" were "invented," and was known as the kind and generous landlord. He was appointed United States Deputy Surveyor, and surveyed large tracts of land in the the swamps of the Maumee valley. One of his comrades was Captain Riley, famous as the author of "Riley's Narrative of Wreck and Wonders on the African Coast;" and he would mildly remark that Captain Riley could discover as many terrors and wonders in the swamps of the Maumee as in Africa. In 1818 he was directed to make surveys in Central Indiana and came West by Indian trail, passing the spot where the city of Indianapolis is now located. In 1819 he surveyed parts of the countries of Owen and Putnam, making his home at Terre Haute.