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

William Slater, and of the five children born to this union only two, named John and Mahlon, are living. The maiden name of his second wife was Miss Mary A. Shoemaker, she being a daughter of the late Hezekiah Shoemaker. Six children have been born to this union, of whom four are yet livng -- William, Samuel, Richard and Hezekiah. On coming to the county Mr. Russell entered eighty acres of his present farm, and by industry, frugality and good management he has succeeded well in making a comfortable home out of the forest, and his present fine farm of 343 acres has been acquired by his own efforts. He is a man of strict integrity, honorable in all his dealings, and during his long residence in the county he has gained the confidence and respect of all who know him.



CALEB BALES, section 36, Helt Township, is a native of Vermillion County, born July 26, 1836, a son of Caleb and Emily (Spangler) Bales. His father was born in Tennessee and came to Indiana in an early day. He helped to raise the first log house on the present site of Terre Haute. He was one of the first settlers of Helt Township, and made it his home until his death. His widow now makes her home with her son Caleb, and although eighty years of age is still well and active, her only infirmity being blindness. Caleb Bales, Jr., was reared in his native county, his youth being spent on his father's farm and at school. He was given good educational advantages, attending the schools of Georgetown, Illinois, and Newport, Indiana. With the exception of about six years he has always followed agricultural pursuits. Three years of this time he was serving his country in the war of the Rebellion, and three years were spent in California, mining. He went to California in March, 1856, and returned to Indiana in 1859. He enlisted in 1862 in company D, Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant of his company, and was subsequently promoted to Captain, serving in the latter capacity about eighteen months. He participated in many notable battles and campaigns, some of the more important being Resaca, new Hope Church, Dallas, Culp's Farm, Peach Tree Creek, the Atlanta campaign, with Sherman to the sea, Averasboro, Bentonville and Raleigh. he was in line at the grand review of the army at Washington in June, 1865, and was soon after discharged and returned home. In his agricultural pursuits he has been successful, and now owns 201 acres of valuable land and an interest in eighty acres in another tract. Mr. Bales was married December 25, 1865, to Mary Jordan, daughter of Edward Jordan, a pioneer of Vermillion County. She died August 20, 1871, leaving two children -- Harrison and Edward. In November, 1879, Mr. Bales married Mrs. Naomi Newbanks, a daughter of John Jenks. Their only child is deceased. Mr. Bales is a member of the Masonic fraternity. Mrs. Bales is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.



ROBERT PEER, section 28, Helt Township, was born on the old homestead on section 33, January 11, 1846, a son of John and Jane (Dawson) Peer, his father a native of Ohio, and his mother of Kentucky. The parents came to Vermillion County when they were children and were here reared and married. The father died on the old homestead, February 14, 1878, aged seventy-four years. The mother still lives at an advanced


Biographical Sketches - 503

age. Robert Peer was reared a farmer, a vocation he has always followed. He now owns 235 acres of valuable land, which is well improved, his residence and farm building being among the best in the township. He was married in September, 1873, to Angeline Bradbury, a native of Edgar County, Illinois, daughter of Joseph Bradbury. Mr. Peer is one of the prominent citizens of the township where he spent his life. He is not an aspirant for official honors, but in everything that is of benefit to the community, either materially or socially, he is always ready to give his support.



SOLOMON WEATHERWAX, who has been identified with Vermillion County since the autumn of 1857, was born in Erie County, New York, August 7, 1838. His parents, Philip and Betsey (Doningberg) Weatherwax, were natives of New York, and spent their lives in that State dying in Erie County. Our subject was reared in his native State, remaining with his father until coming to Vermillion County at the above date. He offered himself under the first call of President Lincoln for three months volunteers, but the quota of Indiana having been filled, he returned East, and at Buffalo, New York, he enlisted in Company H, Twenty-first New York Infantry. He was a scout, with six other members of his regiment, in the campaign of General McClellan against Richmond. He afterward rejoined his regiment, and was in the campaign under General Pope. he was wounded in the left thigh and ankle at the second battle of Bull Run, August 30, 1862, and for six months and twenty days was under hospital treatment at Alexandria and at the Army Square Hospital at Washington. As soon as able he returned to his home, receiving an honorable discharge. He now receives a pension. In 1863 he returned to Vermillion County, where he has since made his home. In 1866 he married Miss Joanna Porter, who was born in Clinton Township, a daughter of Charles Porter, one of the pioneers of the county, and a sister of W. L. Porter, the present treasurer of Vermillion County. Mrs. Weatherwax died in 1872, leaving one son named Aldo, who still lives with his father. Mr. Weatherwax was again married in October, 1884, to Miss Laura Groves, daughter of Abraham Groves, and to this union one child, named Edna, has been born. Mr. Weatherwax is adjutant of P. R. Owen Post No. 329, G. A. R., and is a leading member of the Odd Fellows order, having passed the chairs in Amant Lodge, No. 356, and is a member of the Grand Lodge, and also of Clinton Encampment, No. 143. In politics he has always been a Republican. He is at present trustee of Clinton Township, which office he fills to the entire satisfaction of his constituents.



ERASTUS MACK, M.D., one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Hillsdale, was born in Helt Township, Vermillion County, Indiana, September 29, 1827, a son of Harvey and Sallie A. (Church) Mack. The father was a native of Massachusetts, and a pioneer of this county, having settled here with his parents when Indians and wild animals were the principal inhabitants. He died at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1848, while on his way to New Orleans with two flat-boats which were loaded with corn which he and his sons had raised that year. His wife came to Vermillion with her parents in a very early day, where she was married.