Category Archives: Daviess County

Mark Shrum

Mark Shrum
birth: 26 January1869 in Shoals, Martin County, Indiana to Frederick Orlando Shrum and Martha R. Horsey
death: 30 June 1945 in 18 Clifton Ave, Marblehead, Massachusetts
burial: Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill Massachusetts

marriage: 14 Jun 1893 • Indiana
Luta Lee Helton
birth: 15 April 1868 in Tuscola, Illinois to Absalom Peter Helton and Elizabeth V. Clark
death: 12 October 1954 in Marblehead Massachusetts
burial: Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill, Massachusetts

Children of Luta Lee Helton and Mark Shrum:

  • Merah Durham Shrum 1895-1972 husband Oliver Goodell Pratt
  • Jeanette Mathews Shrum 1897-1988 husband Harold Potter Willett
  • Frederick Orlando Shrum 1902-1975 wife Helen Mary Newhall

Ancestor here lived in:

  • 1869 Shoals, Martin, Indiana
  • 1870 Halbert, Martin, Indiana
  • 1880 Washington, Indiana
  • 1887-1891 Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  • 1900 Patoka, Gibson, Indiana

Other Locations:

  • Lynn Massachusetts 1902-1940
  • Marblehead Massachusetts 1940 – 1945

Other Information:

This is from the diary of Mark’s daughter, Jeanette Matthews Shrum. “My father was born on a farm in Shoals, Ind. His mother was Martha Horsey and his father Frederick O. Shrum. There is a letter in the family bible telling of his birth and their decision to name him Mark – mainly because it was short & they did not give him a middle name. They both died in their 20’s of malaria – also a baby boy – and my father was taken to an uncle who had 10 children of his own and he was brought up by them. He had to work at an early age on his uncles brick yard. In high school his best friend was Fred Prow (later a dentist in Bloomington). One day they were talking and Fred said he was going to try for the county scholarship to I.U. My father who was quite cocky said, “It’s a good thing I’m not going after it because I would probably get it. Fred laughed at him as tho he didn’t have a chance – so my father went after it and won. He decided previously that he wanted to become a doctor. Once on a visit to a larger city he saw a doctor making his calls in a tall silk hat and he thought that would be great.

The summer before college he and Fred were sitting on a fence outside a dance hall & a very pretty, stylish girl danced by & my father said, “There’s the girl I would like to marry.”

Soon after he arrived in Bloomington, he was in a store when the same girl went by and he was determined to meet her. He discovered she was Luta Helton, living with her aunt and was one of the most popular girls around college. He joined Delta Tau fraternity and soon he was taking Luta to the college affairs. Then for some reason he left and went to Montana but before he left he told his roommate, Charles Hartloff, “Take care of Luta while I’m away.” Charlie did that so well that it was not long before Dad heard that they were engaged. Charlie was a weathly boy studying to be a doctor, too. Finally my father had a letter from my mother telling him all the news and at the end a P.S. “By the way Charlie & I have broken up.” It was miles to the nearest R.R. station and it was snowing but my father put barrel stoves on his feet and started walking to the train. When he arrived in Bloomington, Mother was a dance with another boy. He went to the dance, got a dance with her and asked her to marry him that night. He said he would go to her aunt’s & make arrangements. When she returned from the dance he had a minister there, who by the way said the marriage would never last, doing it in such a hurried manner. It did, however for over 50 years. Dad graduated in 1891 then go his MD from Louisville KY where they went the night they were married. He started practice in Ellesttville, Ind. where Merah was born. By that time doctors no longer wore silk hats.”

Submitted by:
Jenny Hawran

John Vestal Smith

John Vestal Smith
birth: 6 Nov 1831, Lawrence Co., IN to Peter Smith and Margaret (Ford) Smith
death: Odon, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Odon Cemetery, Odon, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 24 Jun 1851, Lawrence Co., IN
Susan A. Collins
birth: Oct 1834, Monroe Co., IN or possibly in TN, to Samuel Collins and an unknown mother
death: 22 or 27 May 1908, perhaps in Mitchell, Lawrence Co., IN
burial: Mitchell, Lawrence Co., IN

Children of John Vestal Smith and Susan A. Collins:

  • Eva M Smith, 1853-1876
  • Erma Smith, 1853-1974
  • Josephine Smith, 1856?
  • Charles Smith, 1863?
  • Margaret Emmeline Smith, 1852-1874

John Vestal Smith lived In:

Near Bedford in Lawrence County and also in Mitchell, Lawrence County, Indiana.

Other Information:

“John V. SMITH, editor of the Prairie Scorcher, of Odon, Ind., was born November 7, 1831, in Lawrence Co., Ind.,near Bedford. He is one of a family of three sons and six daughters of Peter and Margaret(Ford) SMITH. John attended the district schools about three months during the year, and remained at home with his parents as long as he remained single. July 24, 1851, he wedded Susan A. Collins, daughter of Samuel Collins. Mrs. SMITH was born in Monroe County, Ind., about 1831. To their union nine children were born, all of whom are deceased. During the war Mr. SMITH became one of the “boys in blue”, enlisting in…” —History of Knox and Daviess County Indiana (Goodspeed Publishing: Chicago, 1886), p. 854-5.

“JOHN V. SMITH: Death of This Well-known Gentleman at His Home at Mitchell
The death of John V. Smith of Mitchell, which has been expected for many weeks occurred Monday afternoon. He had been ailing for a number of years with diseases contracted while serving in the late war, and recently the affliction fastened upon him that dread destroyer consumption. He had been confined to bed about one month previous to his death.

Mr. Smith was a native of Lawrence county, and was fifty-six years of age. He belonged to a large and prominent family in Lawrence county. In 1866, he removed to this county, settling at Odon, where he was engaged in the mercantile business for many years, and conducted a newspaper — the Clarksburg Spy. He continued in the newspaper business until his death.

The deceased was an untiring worker, and always was hopeful that he would recover from his illness. He was a genial gentleman and an honorable citizen. Many an eye in the village of Odon was filled with tears at the announcement that John V. Smith had passed away. He was a member of the 120th Indiana; belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic, and also was a Mason.
Of his immediate relatives who survive him, there are his wife, and brother Dr. D. J. Smith, of Odon. All the children of Mr. and Mrs. Smith preceeded their father to their eternal home.

The remains of John V. Smith were placed in a vault at Mitchell, Tuesday. He was laid to rest with Masonic honors, of which order he was long a member. In about one week, the body will be taken to Odon, and buried in the graveyard near the village so long his home.”  —”JOHN V. SMITH: Death of This Well-known Gentleman at His Home at Mitchell,” Daviess County (Indiana) Democrat, 31 December 1887, p.1.
Submitted by:
Linda Farbry

Mason Ray Palmer Sr

Mason Ray Palmer Sr
birth: 16 June 1807 in either Indiana, South Carolina, or North Carolina to Joshua Palmer Jr. and Catherine (Holland) Palmer
death: 28 Nov 1867 at Daviess Co., IN
burial: Ebenezer Cemetery, Daviess Co., IN

marriage:  7 Mar 1832, Daviess Co., IN
Rachel Banks Horrall
birth: 15 June 1815 in SC or Daviess Co., IN, to John Horrall and Rachel (Banks) Horrall
death: 1 Dec 1847, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Unknown

Children of Mason Ray Palmer Sr and Rachel Banks Horrall:

  • Joshua Armstrong Palmer, b. 1834, d. 1919, m. Emily Barber, m. Mary (Polly) [–?–]
  • Mary Palmer, b. 1837, d. 1865, m. Eli Jones
  • Catherine Ellen Palmer, b. 1838, d. 1841
  • Lyda Ann Palmer, b. 1841, d. 1928, m. George Campbell Vance
  • John Fletcher Palmer, b. 1844, d. 1915, m. Elizabeth [–?–]
  • Mason Ray Palmer Jr, b. 1847, d. 1928, m. (1) Eva M. Smith, (2) Imogene Blanche Palmer

Children of Mason Ray Palmer Sr and Rebecca Ann Tisdale Baldwin:

  • Clark Hamile Palmer, b. 1850, d. 1851
  • William Ellis Palmer, b. 1852, d. 1853
  • Parmenas Allen Palmer, b. 1855, d. 1938
  • George Washington Palmer, b. 1857, d. 1864

Mason Ray Palmer Sr lived In:

Daviess County, Indiana

Also, Harrison City, Allegheny, Pennsylvania and possibly in South Carolina.

Other Information:

Mason Ray Palmer Sr was a pioneer teacher and then a farmer.

Submitted by:
Linda Farbry

William F. Axtell

William F. Axtell
birth: 28 Dec 1855 in Solsberry, Greene County, Indiana to Andrew Jackson Axtell and Susan (Gilkerson) Axtell
death: 10 Oct 1935 in Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 17 Oct 1883 at Bloomington, Monroe Co., IN
Clara “Kate” Bollenbacher
birth: 5 Feb 1854 at Bloomington, Monroe Co., IN to George Bollenbacher and Margaret (Shawver) Bollenbacher
death: 8 Apr 1953 in Yolo, California
burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

Children of William F. Axtell and Clara “Kate” Bollenbacher:

  • Norrine Axtell, stillborn 1884
  • Josephine Lindley Axtell, b. 19 Dec 1885, d. 7 Dec 1984, m. Charles Taylor Williams, 5 Apr 1910
  • Susan Axtell, b. 7 Nov 1888, d. 13 Dec 1955, m. Carlton Anderson Smith, 28 Dec 1911
  • William Jackson Axtell, b. 17 Jan 1892, d. 29 May 1971, m. Emma Georgia Frank, 24 Nov 1917

William F. Axtell lived In:

William F. Axtell lived in Solsberry until 1873, when his father, Andrew Jackson Axtell, moved his family and his medical practice from Solsberry to Bloomington. William lived in Bloomington until about 1885, when he moved to Washington. He resided in Washington, Indiana for the remainder of his life. The Axtell home was at Seventh and East Main Streets in Washington.

Other Information:

William F. Axtell graduated from Indiana University in 1880. He was a mathematics teacher in the Washington High School. From approximately 1894 to 1913, he was superintendent of schools in Washington. He is often called “Professor Frank” Axtell in news accounts of the time.

Submitted by:
James Axtell

Inez Abel Farquer

Inez Abel Farquer
birth: 25 Nov 1926 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN to John and Mamie (Bresh) Abel
death: April 1996 in Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: grave marker at Bethel Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: Jan 1954
Murrell A. Farquer
birth:  20 Apr 1916 in Ohio
death: 13 Apr 1979, Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Bethel Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

Children of Inez Abel Farquer and Murrell A. Farquer:

  • Emma Rose Farquer, b. 6 May 1955 at Shelbyville, Shelby Co., IN, liviing
  • Son, living

Inez Abel Farquer Lived In:

Washington, Daviess County, Indiana

Submitted by:
Emma Birch

Alva C. “Bud” Spillman

Alva C. “Bud” Spillman
birth: 2 Aug 1920 at Seymour, Jackson Co., IN to Chester Spillman Sr and Ella Crane
death: 19 July 2000 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Sugarland Memory Gardens, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 24 Mar 1945, North Vernon, Jennings Co., IN
Agnes Janet (pronounced “Jeanette”)
birth: 27 Jan 1927 at Urbana, Wabash Co., IN to Melvin Horton and Iva Claytor, adopted by Robert and Agnes (Claytor) Moore

Children of Alva C. “Bud” Spillman and Agnes Janet:

  • Donald Spillman, b. 21 Nov 1948
  • Richard Spillman, b. 29 Sep 1952

Alva C. “Bud” Spillman Lived In:

  • 1920-27: Seymour, Jackson County, Indiana
  • 1927-1945: North Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana
  • 1945-2000: Washington, Daviess County, Indiana

Other Information:

Alva C. “Bud” Spillman was Chief Train Dispatcher for B & O Railroad, which later became CSX. He served eight years on the Washington School Board and was Republican Precinct Committeeman for over twenty years. Alva C. “Bud” Spillman also served on the Washington Board of Zoning Appeals for twelve years and was active in both the Christ United Methodist Church and the Washington community.

Submitted by:
Donald Spillman

Harold Colbert

Harold Colbert
birth: 10 Dec 1924 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN to Marion Nelson Colbert and Martha Ellen Queen
death: 11 Jul 2005 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Veale Creek Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 1947 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN
Mary Berry
birth: 1930 in Indiana
death: 21 Jan 2007 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN

Harold Colbert Lived In:

Washington, Daviess County, Indiana

Submitted by:
Tracy Baxter

James Morton Stafford

James Morton Stafford
birth: 25 Nov 1876 in Daviess Co., IN to Mahlon James Stafford (1849-1908) and Nancy Emeline Wallace (1848-1891)
death: 5 Jan 1957 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Mount Olivet Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 23 Dec 1894 at Glendale, Daviess Co., IN
Flora Lenora “Nora” Horrell
birth: 18 Nov 1878, Daviess Co., IN to John Coleman Horrell (1857-1919) and Lucinda Angeline Steen (1858-1925)
death: 5 Aug 1948, Daviess Co., IN
burial: Mount Olivet Cumberland Presbyterian Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

James Morton Stafford and Nora Horrell on their wedding day, 1894James Stafford on his Wedding Day Nora Horrell Stafford, Wedding Day








Children of James Morton Stafford and Flora Lenora “Nora” Horrell:

  • James Alva Stafford, b. 6 Aug 1896 at Daviess Co., IN, d. 17 Sep 1983 at Berea, Madison Co., KY, m. Vinnie “Olive” Edwards
  • Harley Douglas Starfford, b. 19 Jan 1898 at Daviess Co., IN, d. 18 May 1978 at Petersburg, Pike Co., IN, m. (1) Alma Margaret Brown, (2) Lolita C. Crow
  • John Mahlon Stafford, b. 2 Mar 1900 at Dubois Co., IN, d. 1900, likely in Dubois Co., IN
  • Ralph Mahlon Stafford, b. 2 mar 1900 at Dubois Co., IN, d. 27 Apr 1995 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN, m. Anna Ethel Vance
  • Sadie Elsie Stafford, b. 20 Sep 1901 at Daviess Co., IN, d. 25 Sep 1995, Washington, Daviess Co., IN, m. Martin Luther Allison
  • Esta Emeline Stafford, b. 11 Dec 1905 in Pike Co., IN, d. 5 Oct 1994, Washington, Daviess Co., IN, m. Gene Riker
  • Lucille Irene Stafford, b. 10 Jun 1907 in Pike Co., IN, d. 3 Sep 1935, Washington, Daviess Co., IN
  • Nellie Glenn Stafford, b. 29 Nov 1908 at Washington Twp, Pike Co., IN, d. 3 Feb 1994 at Columbus, Bartholomew Co., IN, m. Herbert John Miller
  • Marie Frances Stafford, b. 25 Oct 1911 at Pike Co., IN, d. 22 Jan 1924 at Veale Twp, Daviess Co., IN
  • Eva Viola Stafford, b. 20 Apr 1912 at Gillett, Arkansas Co., AK, d. 4 Jun 2001 at Jasper, Dubois Co., IN, m. Dale Burris Alford
  • Donald Stafford, b/d. 25 Feb 1914 at Daviess Co., IN
  • Edna Lorena Stafford, b. 3 Mar 1915 at Veale Twp, Daviess Co., IN, d. 10 Jan 1971 at Kankakee, IL, m. (1) Norman Aultman Sharum, (2) William Yarbourgh
  • Lena Nova Stafford, b. 26 Apr 1918 at Veale Twp, Daviess Co., IN, d. 25 Jun 2013 at Washington, Daviess Co., IN, m. James Nelson Martin
  • Dorothy Stafford, b./d. 16 May 1920 at in Veale Twp, Daviess Co., IN

James Morton Stafford Lived In:

  • 1876- Daviess County, Indiana
  • 1880- Clay County, Illinois
  • 1881- Knox County, Indiana
  • 1884- Wheatland, Indiana
  • 1900- Dubois County, Indiana
  • 1901- Union, Indiana
  • 1903- Hazelton, Indiana
  • 1903- Petersburg, Indiana
  • 1910- Pike County, Indiana
  • 1911- Blackburn, Indiana
  • 1915- Washington, Indiana
  • 1920- Veal Twp, Daviess County, Indiana

Other Information:

James Morton Stafford was a mail carrier, a horse breeder, a Presbyterian circuit riding Minister, a miner, an entrepreneur, an inventor with several patents and an author. James held the following patents:

• 740995 Non Refillable Bottle 6 Oct 1903
• 753930 Fire Escape 8 Mar 1904
• 761868 Wrench 7 Jun 1904
• 785186 Coffin 21 Mar 1905
• 806756 Apparatus for Preserving the Dead 5 Dec 1905
• 875567 Mold For Glass Caskets, and Similar 31 Dec 1907
• 930242 Focusing Light Producer 3 Aug 1909
• 1203926 Water Elevator 7 Nov 1916
• 1204605 Device for Locating and Raising Ships 14 Nov 1916
• 1205806 Wood Sawing Machine 21 Nov 1916
• 1207651 Gate Opener 5 Dec 1916
• 1225072 Current Motor 8 May 1917

James rejected an offer of one million dollars for his non-refillable bottle from James Pepper, a whisky distiller of Louisville, Kentucky because as a minister, he did not believe in contributing to the consumption of alcohol.

In 1906, James invented the worlds largest egg incubator which at the time could hold over 2000 eggs. Apparently, no patent was applied for. He managed to strike natural gas in Petersburg and was awarded a contract to supply city of Petersburg a portion of his natural gas find for 25 years. The original purpose of the gas well was to supply gas to fire his glass factory in Petersburg where he intended to manufacture his famed glass coffin. In 1920 the Rev. Stafford owned and operated a family coal mine south of Washington, Indiana supplying coal to that city.

In 1934, the Rev. Stafford shocked the American political scene, announcing that he was considering running for President of the United States. At that time, he was the supreme commander of the Golden Rule Party and party members had rallied to support him, with claims of more than 20,000,000 votes. Newspaper headlines across America read, ” Republicans Ahoy! Man is Loose With 20,000,000 Votes”, “Glass Coffin Inventor Has Eyes On Presidency”, “Indiana Pastor Expects to be the Next President”. It is unclear if he indeed ran for this nation’s highest office, but the headlines can still be found in many newspapers from that year.

Tipton Tribune, 23 April 1934presidential-aspirations-tipton-tribune-23-apr-1934

One of the more interesting aspects of his life was that he loved the automobile. In 1903 he purchased a Zentmobile from the Single Center Buggy Company of Evansville, Indiana. He wrote a check for $750 and the first car in Pike County, Indiana was soon to create a storm. He wrote a story about his escapades with the vehicle and was later instrumental in helping Indiana develop the framework for the rules of the road for the Hoosier state.

Rev. Stafford was heavily involved in the Temperance Movement in the early 1900’s. He worked hard to affect public opinion by organizing and then canvassing the many townships in Pike County, Indiana. He circulated a petition calling on lawmakers to hold a separate elections from all other issues in order to better control the manufacture and sale of intoxicants as merely a beverage.

In April of 1911, Rev Stafford, who at that time was living near Blackburn, Indiana, completed a houseboat. He utilized his automobile to propel the house boat which also towed and additional raft with supplies for his family. He started down the White River with plans to connect to the Ohio River and then navigate to the Mississippi. His plans were to promote his latest invention the light focusing projector to towns along the way and ultimately to end up in New Orleans. He only made it as far as Arkansas, where his daughter Eva Viola was born a year later in 1912.

The Rev. Stafford had quite a following. He was known to not to pass out a collection plate, but rather to share a portion of his wealth with his followers instead. As a circuit riding minister, he routinely helped the needy among his followers, especially during the post depression era. He authored at least two books with deeply religions overtones, on how to solve many of America’s problems. In fact, he composed a paper which was dispatched to president Roosevelt requesting consideration of his ideas to be incorporated as a constitutional amendment, which was designed to help America prosper. Roosevelt’s secretary indicated that the proposal was under consideration. Undoubtedly, it ended up in the round file.

James Morton Stafford was a forward thinking individual who developed his own ideas to link with the future, helping change the way American people would live their lives. He examined his existence and found ways to improve how he and others could better cope with the world at that time. His ideas may not have been absorbed into mainstream America, but the history of his contributions to Daviess County, to Indiana and to the United States, should not be forgotten.

James Morton Stafford and Nora Horrell Stafford, 1934
James Stafford - 1934 nora-stafford-1934








Submitted by:
Phillip L. Martin

William Wallace

William Wallace
birth: 22 Feb 1786 in Union Co., SC to John Wallace and Eleanor Morgan
death: 1 Feb 1835, Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN
burial: Old Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

marriage: 1808
Sarah Horrall
birth: 27 Nov 1791 in Union Co., SC to Willam Horrall and Priscilla Houghton
death: 5 Nov 1872, Washington, Daviess Co., IN

Children of William Wallace and Sarah Horrall:

  • William Wallace
  • John Ashbury Wallace, d. about 1847
  • Priscilla Houghton Wallace, b. 1809, m. Isaac Wright Hawkins
  • Eleanor Morgan Wallace, b. 1811, d. 1849
  • Harrison Wallace, b. 1813, d. 1850, m. H. Ellen Cummins
  • Nancy Mathilda Wallace, b. 1820, d. 1903, m. James Whittier Chapman
  • Thompson Wallace, b 1822, d. 1880, m. Elizabeth Anna Chapman
  • Morgan Woods Wallace, b. 1826, d. 1864, m. Clarinda Johnson
  • Samuel Armstrong Wallace, b. 1828, d. 1877, m. Anna Ellis

William Wallace Lived In:

  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • near Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana
  • Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana

Other Information:

William Wallace served in the Indiana General Assembly as state representative for the counties of Daviess and Marion in 1825, 1825–26, 1831–32, and 1832–33. He then served in the state senate during the 1833–34 and 1834–35 terms. He died while in office, having caught a deep cold from exposure while traveling to and from Indianapolis on horseback, and his term was completed by Henry Moore Shaw.

The submitter cites the following as a source of interesting information on the family-

“Part of the paper THE WALLACE FAMILY, REV. JOHN WALLACE, Soldier of the Revolution, Pioneer, and ‘Circuit Rider’ read by Josephine Chapman, D.A.R. Cor. Sec. 1906-7. A Charter member of White River Chapter D.A.R.”

Submitted by:
Dee Schlesser

John Newton Love

John Newton Love
birth: 28 Apr 1809, Stokes County, North Carolina to John Crook Love and Flora Campbell
death: 10 Apr 1869,  Martin County, Indiana
burial: Love Cemetery, Martin County, Indiana

marriage: 11 Nov 1834
Rachel Carrico
birth: 1 Oct 1816, Indiana
death: 22 Oct 1859, Martin County, Indiana
burial: Love’s Cemetery, Loogootee, Martin County, Indiana

Children of John Newton Love and Rachel Carrico:

  • Flora Jane, 1835-1902, m. Armaduke Moses Fraim
  • Milton H. 1842-1858
  • John Augustus, 1850-1909, m. Bridget Gump

John was a shoemaker, a Justice of the Peace (ca. 1852). He established Love’s Meeting House (Methodist) with his mother and siblings on her land. He married, at Rachel’s death, his cousin, Sarah Jane Love, had one son, William A. (ca. 1863).

John lived in Stokes County, North Carolina; and Daviess County and Martin County, Indiana.

Submitted by:
Carol Collins