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Michael M. Souers

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Michael M. Souers

Posted: 3 Aug 2002 2:35PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Souers, Rittenhouse, Marsh, Hoover, Powersall, Smith, Eikenberg, Shipley, Andrews, Canaday, McClelland
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 564-566

Michael M. Souers, one of the oldest residents of Rock Creek township, is a descendant of one of the earliest and most honored pioneers of Huntington county, Indiana, and is a farmer who has contributed in no uncertain manner to the development of the community and the establishment of those principles which form the corner-stone of its stability and prosperity. He was born in Wayne county, Ohio, about ten miles south of Wooster, May 5, 1837, and is a son of Jacob F. Souers, of Huntington, whose biography appears elsewhere in this volume. In the fall of 1836 Jacob F. Souers came from Ohio and entered one hundred and sixty acres of land in the wilderness which later became Rock Creek township, and to which he moved his family October 9, 1838. He built a home and reared his family of six children, inculcating principles of honor and virtue which laid the foundation of lives of usefulness that have been a credit to his training. He cleared about sixty acres of his land and cultivated it until his removal to Huntington, where his wife and mother of his children died in February, 1895.

Michael M. Souers attended the public schools and assisted his father in clearing the farm as soon as he was old enough to handle the axe and do grubbing. Then followed plowing the land, sowing the crop and later harvesting the generous yield. Farming in those days was unattended with the conveniences of modern times, the improved appliances being the outgrowth of American ingenuity. The light, easy riding plow, the disk and the self-binder were unknown, and even if procurable it would have been impossible to have used them amid the roughness and stumps which dotted the land. The cradle and the scythe were used in the harvest for many years before necessity, "the mother of invention," awakened the genius of Mr. McCormack and gave to the world the first reaper which, crude and imperfect as it was, was hailed as a wonderful production of man's power and hardly believed susceptible to improvement. The husbandman of the early and middle periods of the nineteenth century laboriously planted a few acres to corn or other grain, where to-day his sons will occupy the same length of time in planting a hundred acres, harvesting it and putting it on the market with the equal rapidity. Mr. Souers first located on a piece of new land in Rock Creek township, where he lived until the fall of 1866, clearing the greater part of it, but disposed of it for the one hundred and twenty acres which represent his farm. Later he added another forty, all of which is now under cultivation except twenty-five acres. It is well improved, and one of those delightful homes which attracts the eye of the traveler as he passes along the highway.

Mr. Souers was joined in marriage to Miss Margaret Rittenhouse, daughter of Andrew Rittenhouse, who located in Wayne county and carried on farming. Mrs. Souers dying in January, 1890, he was married, October 17, 1896, to Mrs. Caroline E. Marsh, daughter of Levi W. and Barbara E. (Hoover) Powersall, of Fulton county, Indiana. Her father was a native of Ohio and her mother was from Pennsylvania. The father is now a resident of Lancaster township, but the mother has entered into the dreamless sleep which ends in eternity. The children resulting from this union are Mary L., wife of Charles Smith, a blacksmith of Plumtree, Indiana; Francis I., wife of Ira Eikenberg, a grocer of Warren; John E., a prominent educator of New York City; Viola V., who married Dr. J. B. Shipley, of South Marion; Jacob M., who is a successful teacher stationed in New York City; James S., also a teacher in New York City; Ruth Ellen, wife of George Andrews, of Warren; Anna O., wife of Harry Canaday, of Warren; Alice Gertrude, who married Ray McClelland, and resides in Warren, where he is interested in the oil industry; Thomas, deceased; Evalena; and Lloyd E. Mrs. Souers has been quite successful in life, has gained an enviable name for honesty and morality, and is an excellent neighbor and citizen. He is a Democrat, and takes a lively interest in politics, serving as constable for a number of years and discharging his duty fearlessly and unflinchingly.

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