Category Archives: Dearborn County

Clayton William Batchelor

Clayton William Batchelor
birth: 4 Mar 1898, Ohio County (near Rising Sun), Indiana to George McClellan Batchelor and Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Knipfer
death: 20 Feb 1999, Lawrenceburg, Dearborn, IN
burial: Riverview Cemetery (Sec. KK, Row 3, Grave 9), Aurora, Dearborn, IN

marriage: 16 June 1923, Aurora, Dearborn, IN
Minnie Belle Goodrich
birth: 5 March 1898, Harrison, Hamilton, OH to Charles Albert Goodrich and Martha Jane Peters
death: 16 Oct 1988, Lawrenceburg, Dearborn, IN
burial: Riverview Cemetery (Sec. KK, Row 3, Grave 10), Aurora, Dearborn, IN

Children of Minnie Belle Goodrich and Clayton William Batchelor:

  • Phyllis Anne Batchelor, b: 3 Dec 1928, m: (1) Stanley E. Watson (4 daughters), (2) James B. Hickey (no children together), d: 29 Dec 2012
  • Daughter Batchelor, b: 1924, Living

Clayton William Batchelor Lived In:

  • 1898 – About 1900: Ohio County (near Rising Sun), IN
  • 1900 – June 1916: Raised in Petersburg, Boone, KY
  • June 1916 – July 1919: Enlisted in the U.S. Army & served in Columbus, OH; Savannah, Georgia; & France
  • July 1919: Settled in Aurora, Dearborn, IN after return from WW I & military discharge
  • Aug 1989: Death in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn, IN

Other Information:

Clayton was the 5th of seven children born to a Kentucky farmer and his wife, George and Lizzie. Lizzie was a first generation child of a couple who had immigrated with their parents from Germany around 1850. His mother died when he was eleven years old and he was not fond of his stepmother.  He was also not fond of life on the farm.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 23 Jun 1916 at Columbus Barracks in Columbus, Ohio. He lied about his age – said he was twenty-two.  He wanted to serve in Mexico but, instead, was sent to Savannah, Georgia.  His outfit was Battery A or Battery E of the 34th Artillery Brigade, 64th Regiment CAC (Coast Artillery Corps); heavy artillery- 8″ Howitzers and French 75’s. Clayton was trained as an instructor on the French 75’s.  On 14 July 1918, he and his fellow soldiers shipped out from Hoboken, New Jersey on a thirteen-day trip to Liverpool, England.  Clayton said that he vomited only one meal during the trip. From Liverpool, they went to South Hampton from where they traveled across the English Channel to Le Havre and on to St. Nazaire and Angers. When crossing the English Channel, the third ship in his group was bombed. That night, LeHavre was attacked.

His outfit was still in training when they arrived in France.  Clayton said they usually had cooks who made regular meals for them, but for emergency rations, they ate hard tack: crackers and canned beef. On Thanksgiving Day (28 Nov) in 1918, he broke ice on the Loire River to take a bath. He was at the Metz Artillery Center, at the front, when the armistice was signed. He got drunk the night after the armistice was signed – bought champagne for $2.50 a quart. He said it wasn’t too cold in France, that he’d been billeted for a couple of months with a French family, and that he liked the French better than the English.

On 11 Feb 1919, Clayton left France from St. Nazaire on the USS Huron. The ship traveled through the Azores on the way back to the United States. He said he got seasick and vomited most of his meals. He also ran into an old friend from Petersburg on board — a Navy mess chef named Frank. He ate all the rest of his meals with the Navy guys. They hit a huge storm and lost four men overboard before they managed to get all the hatches closed. They landed at Newport News, VA on 24 February 1919.

He was discharged from the Army on 1 Jul 1919, after his father wrote a letter saying he was needed on the family farm. He arrived home at the Split Rock farm outside Petersburg, KY on 4 July 1919.  By July 15th, he was living with his sister and brother-in-law in Aurora, IN  and working for Royer Wheel Company.  After the wheel company closed, Clayton got a job as a baker apprentice at Huff’s Bakery in Aurora.  He also worked for the Dearborn Bakery in Aurora, the Domestic Baking Company in Lawrenceburg, and the  Dillsboro Bakery.  He then owned his own bakery in Aurora. He finally had to give up the bakery business after he got asthma from all the flour.

Clayton was first elected to public office in 1933 as city councilman in Aurora.  Around 1934, Clayton served as acting mayor of Aurora. Although asked to do so frequently over the years, he refused to run for mayor because he was ashamed of his lack of education. Nonetheless, he held several other elective offices during his lifetime: city councilman (twelve years), chair and precinct chair of the Aurora Democratic Party (twelve years), county councilman, and chair of the city park board. The pavilion in the Aurora City Park was named after him to honor his many years of service.  He joined the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, serving as a director for eighteen years and as president for five years. In 1987, he was made a lifetime director of the Chamber.  Clayton was a lifelong, active member of the Democratic Party in Indiana. He was well-known in the party as a good fundraiser and as the person to know in Dearborn County if you were running in any kind of statewide election.

After he sold the bakery, he was employed as police officer and fire fighter for Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons, Inc., in Lawrenceburg,  from 1936 to 1964. He worked for them first doing construction on a new plant, but then moved on to their Police Department and, finally, to their Fire Department, before returning to the Police Department to stay. Most of his employment was with their Police Department. During his tenure with Seagrams, he was promoted to sergeant, 1st sergeant and midnight chief.

In 1964, Clayton was appointed by Indiana Governor Mathew Welsh to manage the state motor vehicle licensing station in Aurora.  He managed the Aurora License Branch for eight years.

After his wife died in 1988, Clayton moved into an assisted living facility and then a nursing home in Lawrenceburg.  His family and friends celebrated his 100th birthday with him on 7 March 1998.  He was Dearborn County’s last living veteran of World War I.  The various veterans groups honored him for his service and most of the local elected officials, including Indiana U.S. Senator Lee Hamilton, attended the event and spoke about his many years of public service.  He enjoyed the party immensely.

Clayton died not quite a year later, three weeks short of his 101st birthday.  He was buried with his wife in Aurora’s Riverview Cemetery.

Submitted by:
Martha Watson

Alvin Porter Cole

Alvin Porter Cole
birth: 4 Feb 1894, Dearborn County, Indiana to Joel DeVane Cole and Lucy Ann Palmer
death: 30 Jul 1962, Osgood, Ripley County, Indiana
burial: Oakdale Cemetery, Lot 243, Dearborn County, Indiana

m: 8 Oct. 1913, Dearborn County, Indiana
Tracie Elizabeth Seymour
birth: 21 Jul 1921, Switzerland County, Indiana to Levi H. Seymour and Alice Dora Turner

Children of Alvin Porter Cole and Tracie Elizabeth Seymour:

  • Vaina Lee Cole (b. 25 Jul 1914, Topeka, Kansas, d. 26 May 1988, Miami, Dade County, Florida) m. 30 Jan 1931, Ripley County, Indiana to Russell Heiderman
  • Meryl Wayne Cole (adopted) d. at 11 years old
  • Sarah Cole (died at 3 days old)

Alvin “Porter” Cole was a farmer, a park ranger at the Versailles State Park in early 50’s, and a mechanic for years at McCoy’s Garage in Osgood, Indiana. His latter work years was with the City of Osgood as a Town Marshall.

He lived on Maple Street, Osgood, Ripley, Indiana from 1930’s to 1970’s. He lived in Lakeland, Florida in mid to late 1940s.

He passed away with a heart attack. He never had any surgeries and didn’t believe in going to a doctor. He smoked a pipe mostly and rolled his own cigarettes when he desired one. He was a slender man of medium height, with almost black hair and dark dark brown eyes. He was always clean shaven. He wore suits of Brown on occasion and always wore a hat whenever outdoors.

Porter was dearly loved by his family, friends and all who he came in touch with in his work & everyday dealings.

Submitted by:
Rita Heiderman Sander

George Ewbank

George Ewbank
b. about 1833, Dearborn County, Indiana, to Benjamin and Ann (Smith) Ewbank
d. 16 January 1879, Shawnee County, Kansas

m/1. 4 August 1861, Jefferson County, Kansas
Lucinda Smith
d. 1866, probably Kansas

m/2. 10 March 1870, South Cedar, Jackson County, Kansas
Lucinda “Lucy” (Finicum) Barnes
b. 1834, Clearcreek Township, Richland County, Ohio, to Mark S. and Phebe (Scott) Finicum
d. 25 October 1894

Children with Lucinda Smith:
• Dora Belle (b. ca. 1863) married (1) Matthew Phillips, (2) [–?–] Smith

Children with Lucinda (Finicum) Barnes:
• Arthur G. (1872-1930) married Sue Melissa Jones
• Henry O. (b. ca. 1874)
• Lola Anne (1876-1926) married Freas Brown Saunders

George moved to Kansas before 1862 and enlisted in the Union Army, 11th Kansas Cavalry on 16 August 1862. His military records says he was of light complexion, had blue eyes, and dark hair. He was a farmer most of his life and served as a “herdsman” during much of his time in the Army.

Submitted by:
Pat D. Saunders
Cary NC

Simon Peter Mason

Simon Peter Mason
b. 7 March 1834, Dearborn County, Indiana, to Jacob Daniel and Rebecca (Showalter) Mason
d. 3 February 1901, Southeastern Woods County, Oklahoma Territory (now Major County)

m. 28 October 1852, Howard County, Indiana
Elizabeth White
b. 1 March 1834, Hendricks County, Indiana, to Jefferson and Elizabeth (Alder) White
d. 1 February 1888, Sumner County, Kansas

Children with Elizabeth White:
• Mary Jane (1853-1919) married James Henry Coy
• Jacob Harvey (1856-1903) married Madora Alice Early
• Sarah Ellen (1857/58-1894) married Samuel Charles Burchfield
• Elizabeth Ann (1861-1899) married (1) William Harrison, (2) Joseph Francis Williams
• Martha Catherine (1863-1927) married Isaac Edward Millsap
• Joseph Howard (1866-1918) married Rhoda Alice Roberts
• Thomas Jefferson (1868-1924) married (1) Elizabeth L. Young, (2) Martha Isabel Gearheart
• James Franklin (1871-1952) married (1) Clara Durfella Coy, (2) Julia Clementine Turley
• Ida Mae (1875-1947) married Alfred Lewis Rice
• Charles Nelson (1878-1956) married Martha Susan Lozier

Simon’s grandparents were born in Pennsylvania and came to Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1818 and 1822. His parents moved to Ervin Township, Howard County, in 1850. In 1879, Simon moved his family to the Oklahoma Territory. He was a true pioneer, having “broke the sod” in both Kansas and the Oklahoma Territory. He made the Great Land Run into the Cherokee Outlet in September 1893 to stake his claim.

Submitted by:
James M. Freed
Delaware OH

William Riley McShane

William Riley McShane
b. 31 July 1838, Dearborn County, Indiana, to Robert and Sarah (Shough) McShane
d. 11 November 1864, Fort Monroe Hospital, Virginia

William enlisted in the Union Army and, after completing his first enlistment, signed up for a second enlistment. He served with Battery L, 4th U.S. Artillery Regiment, 1st Artillery Brigade, 18th Army Corp. He died of dysentery at Fort Monroe Hospital at age 26 and is buried in the Hampton National Cemetry, Virginia.

Submitted by:
Helen M. Bailey
Travelers Rest SC

Lewis Leslie McShane

Lewis Leslie McShane
b. 25 April 1879, Mahalasville, Morgan County, Indiana, to Francis Marion and Nora Rachel (Cramer) McShane
d. 19 October 1955, Glenside, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

m. 5 August 1903, Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas
Lorena Ellis
b. 1 June 1871, Indiana, to Jesse and Evaline (Thomas) Ellis, Jr.
d. 20 March 1964, St. Petersburg, Florida

Children with Lorena Ellis:
• Lois Jessie (1904-1997) married Clarence Eugene Mason
• Doris Loreen (1907-1999)
• Marjorie Elizabeth Louise (b. 1914) married Carl Irving Wilbur

Lewis’ grandparents came to Indiana from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, about 1830. They lived first in Harrison Township, Dearborn County, and later moved to New Trenton, Franklin County, Indiana in the 1840’s. Lewis left Indiana in 1881 for Gardner, Johnson County, Kansas. He later lived in Illinois and in Springfield, Massachusetts, before finally moving to Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Lewis was a teacher for a short time in Johnson County, Indiana, and married a teacher before joining Dodd, Mead & Company, where he sold encyclopedias for 20 years, but eventually left Dodd, Mead & Company. He moved to G & C Merrian & Company, where he became Vice President and a member of the board of directors.

Submitted by:
Helen M. Bailey
Travelers Rest SC

Francis Marion McShane

Francis Marion “Frank” McShane
b. 3 January 1841, Harrison Township, Dearborn County, Indiana, to Robert and Sarah (Shough) McShane
d. 13 October 1910, Gardner, Johnson County, Kansas

m. 27 December 1877, Martinsville, Morgan County, Indiana
Nora Rachel Cramer
b. 20 March 1856, Stanhope, New Jersey, to Lewis Putnam and Charity Amelia Cramer

Children with Nora Rachel Cramer:
• Lewis Leslie (1879-1955)
• Jesse Judson (b. 1881)
• Francis Marion (b. 1883)
• Harry Cramer (b. 1891)

Frank’s parents came to Indiana from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, about 1830. They lived first in Harrison Township, Dearborn County, and later moved to New Trenton, Franklin County, Indiana in the 1840’s.

Frank enlisted in Company A, 68th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and served from 1863 to 1865. He was wounded twice during his military service. He moved to Morgan County after the war and worked as a teacher and in the timber business. In 1881, he moved to Johnson County, Kansas and became a farmer. His son, also named Francis Marion, died while attending Kansas University.

Submitted by:
Helen M. Bailey
Travelers Rest SC

Asbury Wilkinson

Asbury Wilkinson
b. 16 January 1818, Leipsic Township, Kent County, Delaware, to Parismus and Polly (Smith) Wilkinson
d. 17 January 1909, Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

m/1. 2 May 1843, Laconia, Harrison County, Indiana
Rachel Berry Beswick
b. to Phillip and Sally “Sarah” (Pitman) Beswick

m/2. 13 Sep. 1847, Laconia, Harrison County, Indiana
Mary Ann M. Beswick (Rachel’s sister)
b. 30 April 1825, Laconia, Harrison County, Indiana, to Phillip and Sally “Sarah” (Pitman) Beswick
d. 3 July 1892, Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Children with Rachel Berry Beswick:
• Mary Rebecca (b. 1844)

Children with Mary Ann M. Beswick:
• Rachel H. (b. 1851)
• Emma (b. 1856)
• Belle (1862-1952) married (1) Peter C. Pryor, (2) Chester D. Dickinson

Asbury was living in Laconia, Harrison County, in 1842; in Posey Township, Switzerland County, in 1850; in Moore’s Hill, Dearborn County, in 1851; in Shelbyville, Shelby County, in 1856 and 1860; and in Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana, by 1862. It is not known when they left Indiana, but they were in Kingman, Kansas, in 1876. He was a graduate of DePauw University and a Methodist circuit rider, who began several churches.

Submitted by:
Elizabeth Nash
Garden City KS

William Palmer Sparks

William Palmer Sparks
b. 1 April 1843, Moore’s Hill, Dearborn County, Indiana, to Hamlet and Elizabeth (Chisman) Sparks
d. 15 April 1915, Ida Grove, Ida County, Iowa

m. 18 October 1866, Moore’s Hill, Dearborn County, Indiana
Anna Minerva Harding
b. 13 August 1848, New Marion, Ripley County, Indiana
d. 14 May 1910, Grant City, Worth County, Missouri

Children with Anna Minerva Harding:
• Lillie (b. 1867)
• Charles (b. 1868)
• Harry (b. 1869)
• Ida May (b. 1875)
• William (b. 1877)
• Edward (b. 1878)
• A. Montgomery (b. 1881)
• Alice (b. 1884)

The family left Dearborn County, Indiana, about 1878.

Submitted by:
Kathryn M. Jennings
Orland Park IL

Dudley Kean Raffety

Dudley Kean Raffety
b. 20 September 1819, Green County, Kentucky, to James and Elizabeth Morris (Kean) Raffety
d. 25 April 1901, Edgar County, Illinois

m. 22 November 1842, Dearborn, Dearborn County, Indiana
Harriet Mering
b. 1822, Maryland, to Frederick and Mary Mering

Children with Harriet Mering:
• Mary E. married Samuel D. McCarty
• Elias G. (b. 1847) married Hannah Stubbs
• William Oliver (b. 1850) married Mary Adeline Cottman
• Ellen married John S. Barber
• Jasper N. (b. abt. 1852) married Sarah Lipsey

Dudley came to Indiana in 1827 and lived in Franklin, Vigo, Ripley, and Dearborn counties before emigrating in 1854.

Submitted by:
Rose Overstreet Stein
Grand Rapids MI