Harmon Osburn

Harmon Osburn
b. 3 June 1812, Clermont County, Ohio, to Benjamin and Ruth (Duckett) Osburn
d. 6 June 1883, Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana
bur. Crownland Cemetery, Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana

m. 26 April 1832, Clermont County, Ohio
Elizabeth Jane “Eliza” Packard
b. 17 February 1811, Middletown, New Castle County, Delaware
d. 19 June 1887, Moores Hill, Dearborn County, Indiana
bur. Crownland Cemetery, Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana

Children of Harmon and Elizabeth Jane (Packard) Osburn:

  • Hannah Packard (1833-1895), married Isaac Reed
  • Benjamin Franklin (1834-1918), married Mary Torr
  • Anna (1835-1885), married Elijah Billings
  • John Wesley (1839-1903), married (1) Juliet Johnson, (2) Lida Howard, (3) unknown
  • Mary Almira (1843-1918), married Lewis Gould Adkinson
  • Sarah E. (1843-1847)
  • Martha Jane (1848-1883)
  • William Henry Osburn (1850-1932), married Mary Frances Blanche
  • Edward Walker (1854-1931), married (1) Florence Hobson, (2) Elsie Dinsmore Hard

In 1927, the youngest son of Harmon and Elizabeth, Edward Walker Osborn wrote the following about his parents and their life together:

“They began housekeeping in a one room log cabin with a split log floor, near Milford, Clermont County, Ohio. Father was not of his freedom on his wedding day. The next morning after the wedding, both went away to work, Father at fifty cents a day to accumulate money, Mother worked for clothing material and food to take home. While living there, the three eldest children were born . . .”

“In the year 1836 or 1837 the family moved to Rush County, Jackson Township, Indiana, where Harmon entered 160 acres of land, paying the government $1.25 per acre . . . They made the trip in a wagon drawn by an old mare twenty-two years of age and a year old colt. Closest neighbor was about one and on-fourth miles through very heavy timber. a one large room house was soon erected, puncheon flooring (split logs), home make shingles, log frame and finishing. After the days work and the children were in bed, father and mother worked in the clearing, felling trees and sawing them into lengths, ready for the log-rolling, piling and burning brush, often working until midnight. By spring they were ready for crop planting. No better buildings and other improvements within many miles. No finer stock of all kinds in the county, nor was there better machinery or greater yields in the fields. The first mower and harvester were on our farm. The first sewing machine and washer in in our house. Father was many years ahead of his day as a farmer. With diversity of crops, home made fertilizers, drainage, deep plowing and thorough cultivation his farm increased in productiveness each year. Seldom was a load of grain, except wheat and flax, sold from the place, all went into stock.”

In the fall of 1870, Harmon and Eliza and the three youngest children moved from the farm to Greencastle, Indiana, the seat of Asbury University, later know as DePauw. In December 1882, Harmon and Eliza moved from Greencastle to Noblesville, Indiana, where Harmon died in 1883.

Harmon, according to his son “converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1830. From the date of his conversion until 1883, he was almost continuously an official member and religious leader. As far as I know, neither ever told a lie, not even a little white lie, they never exaggerated, nor misrepresented. In truthfulness, brotherly kindness, love, piety, and downright godliness and dependability they were the real article.”

Submitted by:
Alexander Blair Smith
Simsbury CT
E-mail: blair@jalexissmith.com

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