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

are now among the prominent citizens of Eugene township. William A. was reared a farmer and followed that vocation until 1882, when he established a livery stable in Eugene, remaining there three years, and in March, 1886, removed to Newport, where he has a good stable well equipped with both carriage and saddle horses, buggies and carriages. Mr. Shelato was married in 1880 to Inez Willermoon, a native of Vermillion County, born in 1863, a daughter of Joseph and Martha (Slakely) Willermoon.



MILTON WRIGHT was born on the homestead where he resides, on section 16, Highland Township, the date of his birth being January 1, 1835. his father, Thomas Wright, was one of the early pioneers of Highland Township, where he located in the fall of 1824. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1799, and when a boy was taken by his parents to Ross County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. In the fall of 1824 his mother came with her family to Indiana (the father having died in Ohio), and settled in Vermillion County. Thomas Wright at that time was about twenty-four years of age. On coming to the county he entered land on section 10, Highland Township, near the present farm of his son Milton. After entering his land he had no means left, his last dollar being given to pay for his land. He at once began improving his land, but almost before he had made a beginning the team which he had brought with him and on which he depended for clearing and breaking his land, died. This was a heavy loss to him, as he had no means of purchasing another team. Hearing that Lewis Evans, of Warren County, had a bull he wished to dispose of and take his pay in work, Mr. Wright saw his opportunity and at once engaged to split rails for Mr. Evans, and after doing a certain amount of work he received the animal above referred to. He hitched the bull to the plow and broke the land on which he raised his first crop of grain, and by muzzling the bull to prevent it from eating the grain, he was able to use it in cultivating his first corn crop. From this beginning Mr. Wright advanced to the front rank of the pioneer farmers of Highland Township, and at his death in 1855 was numbered among the wealthy farmers of his county. He was twice married, being married in Fountain County, Indiana, in 1830, to Sarah Thompson, a native of Kentucky, and an estimable wife and mother. She died in 1844, leaving a family of four sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are still living -- Milton, Cyrus, and Mrs. Nancy J. Mitchell and Mrs. Martha E. Lacy, both living in Highland Township. For his second wife Mr. Wright married Mrs. Joan (Beers) Nabors. Thomas Wright was a typical pioneer, upright, honest, industrious, and unassuming to his manners and habits. He accumulated a competence, and by his own efforts accumulated 1,000 acres of excellent land. politically he was a Whig of the Abolition type. For many years he was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Milton Wright, whose name heads this sketch, grew to manhood on the home farm, being reared to agricultural pursuits, which he has made his life-work, and attending the schools of his neighborhood, where he received his education. He is a prosperous farmer and a representative citizen of Highland Township, where he has a fine farm of 280 acres, this being a part of the land once owned by his father. Mr. Wright was united in marriage to Miss Nancy A. Provost, a daughter of Thomas Provost, one of the pioneers of Ver-


Biographical Sketches - 485

million County. They have two children -- Eva, wife of Henry Truman, of Highland Township, and Stephen G., who was born August 9, 1868, a native of Highland Township, Vermillion County.



ALFRED R. HOPKINS, the present efficient clerk of Vermillion County, is a native of this county, born at Newport, September 3, 1841, and has spent the greater part of his life at his birth-place. His parents, John and Elizabeth Hopkins, were among the pioneers of the county, settling here when the surrounding country was almost a wilderness. Mr. Hopkins has been twice married, his first wife being Nellie Hall, a daughter of William B. Hall, one of Vermillion County's early settlers. She died in 1874, leaving at her death two daughters named Helen and Maggie. The maiden name of his present wife was Laura Wallace, she being a daughter of William and Mary Wallace, of whom both are deceased. Mr. Hopkins was in the mercantile business at Newport from 1869 until 1875. In 1882 he was elected to fill the office of county clerk, and was re-elected in the fall of 1886, his term of office expiring in 1890. In politics he is a staunch Republican, and was elected to his present office on that ticket.



JOHN GRIMES, an enterprising agriculturist, who has been identified with the interests of Vermillion County many years, is a native of Ohio, born in Noble County, October 29, 1846. His father, Wilson Grimes, who is now deceased, was born in Ross County, Ohio. In 1860 he removed with his family to Dent County, Missouri, and in the spring of 1861 came to Vermillion County, Indiana, and laid out the village of Jonestown, and built the first house in the place. John Grimes, the subject of this sketch, was brought up on a farm, and has always followed agricultural pursuits, and in his youth he received a common-school education. He was united in marriage, May 1, 1873, to Miss Belle Newton, a daughter of Dr. John Newton, an early settler of this county, who is now deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Grimes are the parents of one child, Ethel A., who was born September 18, 1874. They make their home on section 15, Helt Township, where they have a fine farm of 140 acres, well improved and under good cultivation, beside which they own a tract of eighteen acres of timber land in Illinois.



HORACE WELLS, senior member of the firm of Wells & Peer, dealers in groceries, boots and shoes, Dana, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 25, 1844. His father, Horace Wells, who is now deceased, was a native of Connecticut, and settled in Cincinnati in 1837, where he was superintendent of the Wells Type Foundry many years, holding a controlling interest in the stock. Horace Wells, our subject, was reared at his birth place, receiving his education in the schools of that city. During the late war he was a member of Company B, Second Missouri Cavalry, and while in the service participated in many important battles including the engagements at Lexington, Paris, Moore's Mill and Pea Ridge. He went to Illinois in 1864 where he followed farming until 1869. In December, 1870, he entered the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company as station agent and operator, at Desoto, Illinois. In August, 1875,