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

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Biographical Sketches - 447

ifications, and is conducting the largest mercantile establishment in Vermillion County, and one of the largest in Western Indiana. The sales of this establishment are over $50,000 annually. In politics Mr. Morgan affiliates with the Republican party. He is prominent in social circles, and is identified with both the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders.



JOSEPHUS COLLETT, Sr., deceased, a prominent pioneer of Vermillion County, was born in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1787, and afterward removed to Columbus, Ohio. March 18, 1816, he was appointed deputy sheriff of Ross County, that State, by Thomas Steel, then sheriff, and November 5, 1818, he was elected sheriff, and faithfully served out his term. April 28, 1820, he was appointed deputy United States Surveyor by Governor Griffin, who was then surveyor-general of the Northwest Territory; and in this capacity he surveyed a district of country which embraces a large portion of the counties of Hendricks, Montgomery, Boone and Tippecanoe. in 1825 he removed to this county, where he continued to reside until his death, near Eugene, on Wednesday, February 21, 1872. During the early period of his residence in this county, he was an influential participant in the politics of this district, and in all matters of public interest. He was also a man of sagacity and prudence in the management of his property. Starting with but little capital, he amassed a large fortune, which was estimated at the time of his death at about $130,000. He used to say, "The young man who won't dig and work for himself will never become wealthy; for it is grubbing for one's self that teaches him to economize." He was a man of original characteristics, vivid positiveness and strong will. Though a little vindictive, as is apt to be the case with men of his positive nature, he was uniformly kind, courteous and obliging. His hospitality was of the old-school order, -- broad, generous and liberal. His table, loaded with the richest viands, and his sideboard with the best of liquors, always had two or three extra plates for expected guests. No friend could be forgiven who did not partake of its bounties. Many such friends as Judge John R. Porter, Senators E. A. Hannegan and Albert S. White, Congressmen Henry S. Lane and Richard W. Thompson, and the Judges of the Indiana and United States Courts were frequent partakers of his hospitality. On one occasion, when his house was crowded with such guests, word was brought to him after night that a poor, ragged man wanted to come in out of the storm and stay all night. They said they had told him that the house was full; but Mr. Collett insisted on seeing him. The "intruder" was brought in, and at once recognized as poor, crazy Jack Stinson, of Williamsport. Immediately the old feeling of hospitality and duty tramped down the necessities of the case, and Mr. Collett met him with a graceful bow and a kind shake of the hand, and introduced him as an Ohio friend to the assembled judges and lawyers, as having been formerly in their profession, but recently in bad health and unfortunate. Said he, "He was my friend in days long ago, and I am still his friend." He was a welcome guest to all there assembled; and, being so treated, his insanity disappeared and reason was for the time restored. Mr. Collett was always a friend to the poor, and no beggar ever went away empty from his door. His early educational facilities were limited to a few months' attendance at school in